3 Ways A Case Manager Can Help Immigrants In Need of Medical Care
Navigating US healthcare and insurance systems can be challenging regardless of the circumstances, but these challenges are especially challenging for immigrants and their families. For immigrants with language barriers and/or questions about how immigrant status will affect care options, a well-trained case manager can really make a difference.
Case Management involves the assessment, care coordination, and advocacy for patients and their families to help address comprehensive care needs. Case managers use strong communication skills and supportive resources to ensure that patients receive high-quality care, have support for difficult decisions, and have all the financial information they need. The field of case management is founded on the premise that all individuals should have the best chance at achieving optimum health and wellness.
Below are 3 ways that case managers can help immigrants in need of care services:
They Can Advocate for Immigrants
Case managers are highly skilled at assisting patients with medical crises by understanding their concerns and communicating their needs to the rest of the care team. They can also help with decisions; complicated cases can be tricky to navigate (especially for non-US citizens), and case managers can help patients get the information they need to come to the right conclusion for them. Once a decision is made, they work with patients throughout their care and rehabilitation to make sure their needs are met. For immigrants, these needs often include financial consults or planning for rehabilitation services after a hospital stay. Patients may also need repatriation services as demonstrated in some specific case studies. Case managers can help oversee all of these services.
They Can Help Translate
Many case managers in the US are bilingual or trilingual, which is especially helpful for immigrants for whom English is not their first language. Case managers who speak the patient’s native language fluently can help effectively communicate a patient’s needs to the care team, to insurance companies, to rehabilitation service centers, and relay all the information back to the patient and family. This helps a case manager be an effective advocate for immigrant patients throughout their care.
They Have Experience Navigating Systems
Case managers are experts at systems management; they know the resources in and out, and they are prepared to employ these resources when they are needed. Patients and their families, by contrast, can have trouble gaining access to the information they need to take advantage of hospital resources on their own.
They are also trained to manage tricky logistical or administrative issues, which can disproportionately affect immigrants; for example, if a patient who is an immigrant does not have insurance and does not have any rehabilitation options in the United States, case managers can help redirect the patient to appropriate care elsewhere.
Last, they can provide financial guidance for immigrants who may not have insurance or a high income. Case managers also work with the patient’s entire team to ensure that the patient receives adequate care, which allows them to relay information to providers if the patient has a hard time reaching them individually.
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