Boston Globe: Community Case Management program provides caregivers for families of medically complex children

February 10, 2014

Community Case Management, a service created by UMass Medical School to help keep medically complex children with their families instead of in pediatric nursing homes, is assisting nearly 700 children and adults, according to an article in the Sunday Boston Globe.

“Whatever these kids need, they will get: physical therapy, occupational therapy, dieticians, specialized wheelchairs, feeding tubes,” Joyce Murphy, MPA, Commonwealth Medicine executive vice chancellor, told the Globe for the Feb. 9 story. “Without the service, these kids would be forced to live in institutions.”

The article features 9-year-old John Wilmar, who has Toriello-Carey syndrome and recently learned to walk down stairs, feed himself and drink from a cup. April and Shawn Wilmar, his parents, credit Community Case Management for significantly helping John develop.

“It’s really nice to have the added support,” April Wilmar said. “It’s really helped him progress.”

Community Case Management is supported by a partnership between UMass Medical School’s Commonwealth Medicine division and the state Executive Office of Health and Human Services. It provides a single point of entry for all members’ long-term care needs, including continuous skilled nursing, personal care attendant services, and durable medical equipment and therapy services.

Community Case Management has made it possible for parents, like John’s, to focus on family while a nurse case manager handles the challenge of coordinating multiple care providers, services, and necessary supplies for chronic health problems.

Since it began in 2003, the service has assisted more than 1,600 members.

Children and adults qualify for the service if they need more than two continuous hours of skilled nursing services. All Community Case Management families are also members of MassHealth, the Massachusetts Medicaid program.

Community Case Management nurses also work with staff at neonatal intensive care units, pediatric intensive care units, acute care facilities and rehabilitation facilities across the state – including UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Children’s Hospital Boston, Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston – to support discharge plan needs for members who qualify for the service.

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