National Case Management Week, observed Oct. 14-20 this year, recognizes case managers for their hard work, dedication and advocacy for their patients, and also educates others about what they do.

 Wendy DeVreugd is the Senior Director of Case Management, Kindred Healthcare Hospital Division. Wendy DeVreugd is the Senior Director of Case Management, Kindred Healthcare Hospital Division.

“Case managers help patients to weave through the ‘red tape’ associated with the health care system,” says Wendy De Vreugd, RN, BSN, PHN, FNP, CCDS, MBA, Senior Director of Case Management, Kindred Healthcare Hospital Division, West Region. “Imagine the patient in the middle of a big circle when an illness or health crisis occurs. There are multiple layers that overlap and impact the patient during this time, and this can be very confusing to a patient and family in the midst of dealing with an illness. There is the insurance company, the physician, the interdisciplinary team, outside providers, equipment providers, the pharmacy, and many others. The patient is in the middle of it all and must communicate with all of these services while dealing with their illness. The case manager advocates for the patient and family by assessing the patient’s needs, looking at what services are necessary, determining what the plan should be, and then negotiating the needed services.”

An important aspect of case management is identifying what resources are available, both locally and nationally, and helping the patient to access those resources. “For example, when a patient has no insurance or their insurance has run out, the case manager needs to know what public and private agencies can provide funding or services, and then help the patient apply for assistance.” says De Vreugd.Kindred Honors Case Managers

Case management can sometimes be a balancing act between what the case manager and physician believe is the right plan for the patient, what resources are available, and the patient’s expectations. “The patient is really the ultimate decision maker in his or her own health care, so it is critical to provide education to the patient and family on all of their options,” De Vreugd says.

Want to hear more about Kindred's Case Managers?  Click here to view a short video!