Relationship Building Tips for Care Managers

Thoughts from the People They Support

LIFEPlan recently hosted a webinar with representatives of our leadership team to discuss the importance of building a strong relationship with Care Managers.  

Mary Beth Redmond, Senior VP of Care Management, opened the discussion saying,

Tonight, we are going to talk about how we can make sure that the Care Managers are hitting the right mark with each member. 

A big part of the discussion revolved around expectations. For many members, especially for those new to LIFEPlan, they are uncertain about the dynamics of this new relationship. Mary Beth started by saying,

The first thing you should expect from your Care Manager is respect.  From respect, everything else will come. Care Managers need to understand what is important to you.  They need to find out what kind of support you are looking for.

It is important to remember your Care Manager works with you but also FOR you.  If things aren’t working out, for whatever reason, you can consider a change.  A different Care Manager may be a better fit for you. 

Members sometimes say their Care Manager struggles to find resources or programs the family is looking for. In other cases, the Care Manager may not be well versed in certain subject areas. Mary Beth emphasized that,

Care Managers don’t work alone.  They have support from their supervisor and others including a Director and a Regional Vice President. Each can work closely with the Care Manager. Your Care Manager has support when they need it.

Ultimately, the goal is for members to keep their Care Manager. The goal is not for Care Managers to change often.  Care Managers need to get to know you, and the services and support you want should be put in place.  Mary Beth emphasized that Care Management is working to achieve this because it will mean you are getting the best service you can from LIFEPlan.  “You deserve nothing less than that.” 

Jean Jacobson, LIFEPlan’s Clinical Director, also presented about how our members and their families can make the most of their relationship with their Care Manager. In addition to giving us a host of examples, Jean suggested,

If you practice good communication strategies, you might find others around you start to use these strategies as well.

Some key points from Jean’s presentation included:   

  • Be a partner  
  • Get clarification early – don’t wait 
  • Don’t expect others to read your mind 
  • Share important information 
  • Think about timing of your communication 
  • Upset?  Stop and think before you send a message. 

Maria Krause, parent and MFA Council member from our Capital Region, also participated in this event. Maria has developed a resource that she uses to help facilitate good communication with her Care Manager. We hope you find it to be helpful as well. 

To watch a full recording of the Building Great Relationships with Your Care Manager Webinar, click below.