Case Managers Becoming Vital Player on Health Care Teams

PANAMA CITY, Fla. - With thousands of tourists visiting Bay County each day, accidents do happen and medical care is needed at times.

The work of a hospital case manager can be especially important here on the panhandle. 

News 13's Alex Thorson has this weeks Health Desk report, sponsored by Bay Medical Sacred Heart. 

We all know that surgeons perform surgeries, and nurses assist doctors. Not everyone knows what case managers are and what roles they play for patients. 

"We're the mediator," Natasha Ramos, Interim Case Management Director at Bay Medical Sacred Heart, said.

They review cases and make sure patients are receiving the correct level of care. Ramos said social workers used to dominate the job, but case management jobs have evolved into a three part team: nurses who work with the patient, social workers, and nurses who communicate with insurance companies. 

"We kind of help the patient and advocate back to the physician who's not at the bedside all the time," Ramos said.

With health care costs rising, Ramos said they, "make sure they're at the appropriate level so that patients have the lowest out of pocket expenses while they're here."

Who do case managers help? She said case managers help every patient that's admitted in the hospital. 

Ramos said with a large tourist population, their jobs are becoming increasingly important.

"So we make sure they can get around the community okay. [We have to] make sure they have a support system."

This week is also the annual case management week at Bay Medical Sacred Heart.
They celebrate the whole team of case managers and the important work they do for their patients.


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