If you are interested in a profession that enables you to make a positive difference in the lives of some of the most vulnerable citizens in the country, then a career as a geriatric care management supervisor may be right for you. As the Alzheimer’s Association points out, a geriatric care manager is someone who helps senior citizens and their families learn about their care options, make health-related and other important decisions, and manage stress. A geriatric care manager may also operate as a liaison between elderly individuals and nursing homes and care homes, helping patients bargain for a better price and better care. Geriatric care management supervisors, on the other hand, are tasked with supervising those who take on the important job of working with senior citizens.
Care management supervisors may work for hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies or hospice facilities. Alternatively, they may work as independent contractors. While the exact job description varies depending on the place of employment and other factors, the following overview will provide you with a good idea of what a geriatric care management supervisor does day in and day out.
A care management supervisor will need to provide leadership to his or her team. This may involve training new care managers, supervising existing managers, handling patient and management complaints, and making decisions regarding pricing and which services to provide. Because care managers often offer 24/7 services, a care management supervisor will need to be on call at all hours of the day or night in the event a care manager needs emergency assistance.
Care management supervisors also need to be prepared to solve problems that come up in the course of providing day-to-day care. Staffing issues are perhaps one of the biggest problems a supervisor will need to deal with, as care management agencies and other employers often face high staff turnover due to the stressful nature of caring for elderly patients who face serious cognitive problems that make it very difficult to provide proper assistance. As a care management supervisor, you will need to not only help a company or medical institution retain staff but also find replacements in a timely manner should the need arise.
As a care management supervisor, you may often be tasked with handling a variety of administrative duties. Such duties may involve organizing care managers’ schedules so that managers have time to rest and recuperate without leaving the agency or medical institution short of needed staff. You may need to communicate with health insurance agencies, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other health care providers. Doing so can be challenging as there are a number of patient confidentiality and legal and ethical issues that can make it hard to communicate clearly without saying something that is supposed to remain confidential.
Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recommends that supervisors stay abreast of current technology related to medical coding software and electronic health record systems. You may need to learn how to analyze data using a program such as SPSS or RiskSmart. You may need to know how to use document management programs to communicate with third parties, rate management care, and handle other important tasks. You may also want to familiarize yourself with new developments that make it possible for senior citizens to remain at home on their own, including safety and security tools and health management apps.
Why Study for a Master of Arts in Gerontology & Master of Aging Services Management?
As the Population Reference Bureau reports, the number of senior citizens aged 65 and older is set to grow from 46 million to more than 98 million by the year 2060. At this time, senior citizens will make up nearly a quarter of the entire population of the United States. Given this fact, is it clear that there is a need for those who know how to help the elderly obtain proper care and treatment? It is, therefore, no surprise that the BLS states that the medical and health service management industry is set to grow by 17%, far faster than average.
Geriatric care is a specialized form of care management. While health care supervisors perform some of the same tasks that a geriatric care management supervisor would handle, there are important job differences. Because elderly patients may sometimes be unable to make well-informed decisions on their own, a geriatric care managing supervisor would need to ensure that there is smooth communication between care managers and the adult children of senior citizens, doctors, and other parties. Care management supervisors would also need to be familiar with health conditions that primarily affect elderly individuals to give advice to care managers who need to know how to provide specialized care and advice.
To enhance your existing geriatric care professional experience, the University of Southern California offers unique Master of Arts in Gerontology & Master of Aging Services Management degree programs that are fully online. Important skills you can expect to learn in these programs include providing end-of-life care, comparing health care delivery models, administration and systems management, and how to apply legal and regulatory issues to your line of work.
Being able to provide proper care management to elderly patients is a skill that is greatly needed now and will become even more necessary in the coming years. Having the educational qualifications to take on the role of geriatric care management supervisor can prepare you to provide a specialized form of care that has a direct, positive impact not only on senior citizens but also on their families.