The Basics of Service Coordination
Service coordination is one of the essential functions of case management services. Service coordination can be defined as the activities that case managers perform in order initiate and maintain services for their clients. Service coordination involves organizing just about every aspect of the client’s services. Case managers assist with everything from healthcare appointments to helping a client move into a new apartment (Including obtaining the vehicle and helping physically). I have listed just a few of the service coordination duties that case managers perform on a regular basis. This is by no means an all-inclusive list. I’m sure there is much more you can add to this list.
Scheduling Meetings- Case managers schedule everything from annual meetings to therapy appointments depending on the situation. However, the following are the typical meetings scheduled by case managers:
*Annual Treatment Plan Meeting
*Benefits Appointments at Social Services
*Appointments for housing services
*Meetings to resolve conflict with providers
* Intake meetings with new service providers
Completing Referral Packets- Filling out applications, gathering information and submitting intake packets are all service coordination activities. Referral packets are no easy task. They often require copying documentation from both hard copy and electronic record. I have sent packets that were well over 50 pages of referral information.
Completing Service Authorizations- Medicaid waiver is administered differently but case managers are often responsible for completing the preauthorization process. Service providers submit their treatment plans, hours requested, and service schedule to case managers for approval. Once the case manager reviews all the documentation, the request is then sent to the state authorization agency for final approval.
Arranging Transportation- Case managers also coordinate transportation. This typically involves setting up “standing orders” or set trips for their clients. This is usually completed for clients that attend a day support program or work program at least three days a week. Of course another aspect of coordinating transportation is the occasional complaint due to transportation that is late or doesn’t show up as scheduled. This might involve a phone call to the transportation agency or a written complaint if the issue cannot be resolved if the problems persists.
Assistance with Benefits Applications – Case managers might also assist with obtaining and maintaining benefits. This often includes helping the client fill out initial Medicaid applications or the annual renewal form to maintain benefits. This is actually one of the most important roles in service coordination. If Medicaid insurance lapses, the client may not be able to get the services they need such as medication, therapy, and any medical treatment they may need during that lapse period. In addition, none of the service providers get paid during this period including residential, day support, and case management services.
Distribution of Service Plans- Case managers also make sure that all service providers receive a copy of the treatment plan. Any changes in the plan that occur during the year will result in the plan being redistributed to the support team for their records.