Private Duty

Q&A: Case managers supporting COVID-19 patients

Q: As case managers strive to best support patients recovering from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), what are some of the most important things to keep in mind?

A: Ellen Fink-Samnick, MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CCTP, CMHIMP, CRP, DBH(s), of EFS Supervision Strategies LLC, in Burke, Virginia offers five strategies for supporting COVID-19 patients.

  1. Discharge to safe and appropriate housing/shelter that is aware of the patient’s status. There are regional and state-specific resources that provide the most up-to-date housing information, including shelter availability, rental guidance, and even the current status of eviction moratoriums and emergency rental assistance.
  2. Help support patients’ financial needs. Many patients need guidance and linkage for bills, food, and other programs. (formally Aunt Bertha) is the go-to resource. 
  3. Link patients to food banks. These programs have taken a hit during the pandemic due to changes designed to improve safety and reduce virus transmission. Some good resources include Feeding America, which can also help case managers find local food banks. Many hospitals have also started food pharmacies to help meet this need. 
  4. Prescriptions. Many companies are waiving delivery fees, which can help with affordability challenges.
  5. Knowledge of what’s new. The Center to Advance Palliative Care has continued to update its COVID-19 Rapid Response Resources Hub.

In addition to supporting patients amidst the pandemic, case managers should also stay aware of their own mental health and the potential for burnout, says Fink-Samnick.