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Psychiatric Rehabilitation Specialists
Established in 1977

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Navigating the Mental Health Care System in Los Angeles: Case Management vs. Care Coordination

Los Angeles is one of the most populated cities in the United States, with a diverse metro area population of over 12 million. With such a large population comes a complex mental health care system that can be overwhelming for patients and their families to navigate, often leaving people with more questions than answers.

Two important approaches to mental health care that sometimes get confused are case management and care coordination, but what exactly are they, and how do they differ?

Case Management

Case management is a personalized approach to mental health care that focuses on the needs of individual patients on a case-by-case basis. A case manager is a licensed social worker, nurse, or other mental health professional working closely with the patient to create a unique care plan that addresses their needs and obstacles. Case management aims to provide ongoing support and guidance to the patient and serve as an advocate for them throughout the care process.

Case managers are adept at navigating our complex mental health care system and can provide incredibly specialized care for those with severe and chronic mental health conditions. They can help patients connect with the appropriate mental health care providers and community resources needed, such as housing and job placement services, by leveraging and facilitating the right connections within communities. They also work with insurance companies to obtain coverage for necessary treatments and can help patients understand their insurance benefits and limitations.

The role of a case manager is to provide continuity of care and ensure that the patient receives the appropriate level of support and treatment. They provide emotional support to the patient and their family members, help manage medications by referring them out to pharmacists, monitor their progress over time, and much more.

Care Coordination

Care coordination is a broader, yet still highly individualized, approach to mental health care that involves collaboration between multiple providers and organizations working together to ensure that patients receive comprehensive, tailored care. Care coordination aims to provide a seamless and integrated approach to mental health care that addresses all aspects of a patient’s needs.

Care coordination involves a team of providers who work together to ensure that the patient receives the appropriate level of care. This team may include mental health care providers, primary care physicians, social workers, and specialists. They work together to develop a personalized care plan that addresses all aspects of a patient’s mental health needs, including medical treatment, psychosocial support, and community resources.

The role of care coordinators is to facilitate communication and collaboration between different providers and organizations. They may help patients navigate the mental health care system, coordinate appointments, assist in monitoring the patient’s progress, and provide support every step of the way.

Key Differences

While case management and care coordination share similarities, the two have several key differences.

Case management is a more personalized and case-specific approach to mental health care treatment that usually focuses on specific chronic and severe mental illnesses. The case manager works closely with the patient to develop a care plan tailored to their situation, background, and goals.

On the other hand, care coordination is a more comprehensive approach to mental health care involving multiple providers and organizations, often including case managers, working together to ensure that patients receive integrated care that addresses their needs.

Life Adjustment Team

While navigating the mental health care system can be challenging, The Life Adjustment Team is here to help. We understand that no two patients are the same. We offer personalized case management and care coordination services to ensure that patients receive the care they need to achieve their unique dreams. Our experienced team of specialists works closely with patients and their families to develop care plans that address their specific needs and goals.

We provide comprehensive services, including individual, group, and family therapy, skill training, medication management through referrals, and community resource referrals. Our case managers and care coordinators work with patients to identify their needs and develop a care plan tailored to their unique situation. We also work closely with other providers, hospitals, and community organizations to ensure that our patients receive compassionate and holistic care that addresses all aspects of their mental health. Contact us today to learn more and find out if LAT is right for you!