Geriatric case managers work with seniors and their families, assisting with health care needs. They require a college degree that may include working in the field in addition to more typical coursework. Medical and health services managers can expect job growth in their field that is much faster than the national average.
A geriatric case manager is a professional liaison in the health care field who understands and implements the needs of seniors and their families. Geriatric case managers need a bachelor's degree for entry; a master's degree is recommended for advancement. Certification is also available.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree|
|Other Requirements||Master's degree for advancement; certification may be required|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||17% for medical and health services managers*|
|Median Salary (2016)||$44,408**|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; **PayScale.com
Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that as of May 2015 medical and health service managers earned a median annual salary of $94,500, PayScale.com reported in January 2016 that geriatric case managers scale much lower and earned a median salary of $44,408.
A geriatric case manager is responsible for assisting elderly clients with the administrative side of health care issues, advising and often acting as a liaison between the client, their families, health care providers and government agencies. Geriatric case managers must understand the comprehensive needs of senior clients, and perform care assessments to identify individual health care needs. They must then devise a comprehensive plan for that client, working with health care professionals, service providers and government agencies to put that plan into action. Once a plan is put into place, a geriatric case manager continues to maintain that plan by scheduling in-home, outpatient or hospitalization services, assisting clients with legal issues and offering transitional assistance for clients seeking assisted living or nursing home care.
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Students pursuing a career in geriatric case managementt should earn a bachelor's degree in health services administration, health sciences, public health or public administration, each of which would prepare students for entry level positions in the field. Courses include studies in human biology, health and lifestyle choices, biostatistics, state and local politics, health care planning and social policy. There are also required management courses such as managerial accounting, business writing, organizational behavior and human resource administration. Students are also required to complete field assignments at a health services organization or in private practice.
Graduates looking to advance in their field can also earn an advanced degree such as a Master of Science in International Health Policy and Management. The program is designed to teach candidates the skills needed to design and implement effective health care programs while aligning policies, organizations and health outcomes. Courses include policy management, international health systems, strategic management and cost effectiveness.
There are also professional organizations such as the Commission for Case Manager Certification that offer credentials to those wishing to enter the field of geriatric case management. In order to qualify for certification, the applicant must have graduated from a postsecondary degree program and have the ability to practice without the assistance of another trained professional.
Employment for medical and health service managers is growing faster than the national average, according to the BLS, and is expected to continue a steady of 17% from 2014 through 2024.
Geriatric case managers require a bachelor's degree in a related field, and may pursue a master's degree for advancement. Certification is available, although often voluntary. The median annual salary for these professionals is about $44,000.