Case managers play critical role in working with complex-care populations
By Melanie Marshall
The U.S. healthcare system has been the subject of intense debate over the past few years, but there’s one thing most can agree on: much of the challenge involves patients with complex needs that have a devastating impact on their own health and on healthcare costs nationwide.
Those needs – including poverty, hunger, and housing insecurity – are social determinants of health, defined by the Centers for Disease Control as “conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play (that) affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes.”
The idea isn’t new or surprising, said Erin Westphal, Program Officer with The SCAN Foundation, a public charity focused on transforming care for older adults: “You can’t expect someone who is a diabetic to eat well, test their blood sugar, and keep their insulin refrigerated, when they’re homeless.”