A case management degree prepares an individual for work as a case manager, in charge of managing health care and other activities of a patient or client.
Case managers are usually already licensed health professionals such as social workers, nurses, physicians, physical therapists. With the added training in case management, they become qualified to manage a patient’s or client’s case from start to finish and devise and implement specialized treatment plans.
Many case managers choose to focus on particular diseases or types of treatment such as HIV/AIDS, mental health, or geriatrics.
A case management degree or certificate can help prepare medical or mental health professionals for a move up the career ladder. Generally coursework falls in line with that of a health administration degree, so can include classes in case management theory, claims and benefit administration, ethics, disease and disability management, and standards of care.
Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree as well as several years of experience in the same field as the degree before pursuing a master’s degree or certification in case management. The Commission for Case Management Certification has more information on exact requirements.
Depending on the position, a case manager may also have to keep up to date with certifications and/or licenses to practice.
The range of salaries for case management degree holders varies widely because of the differences in experience, specialty, and location. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that medical and health services managers earned median annual wages of $80,240 with the middle 50 percent earning between $62,170 and $104,120.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts “faster than average” employment growth for medical and health services managers as the health care industry continues to grow and will need experienced, well-trained individuals to keep everything running smoothly.
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics