Four Things To Look For When Choosing A Care Management Service
It’s been three years since Aaron, my friend’s brother, suffered a brain injury in a car accident that left him paralyzed. While Aaron gradually accepted his paralysis that showed no signs of changing, life for his family was continually changing. Aaron’s once-strong and -robust parents were his only caregivers and the work was beginning to take a toll on them with periodic bouts of sickness. I wondered why they had not hired a professional care manager. So one day, I asked my friend. He said his parents felt no one could care for their son the way they could: they could not entrust their beloved son to a nurse. And that’s when I asked my friend if he had heard about Intervention Associates. Intervention Associates is a professional care management service unique for their expertise, advocacy, knowledge, and passion.
Glenda Phipps is one of the people working with Intervention Associates that is known for her expertise. Glenda is a professional lead care manager and a special needs expert at Intervention Associates. She is the special needs expert for individuals like Aaron. Her expertise is in advocating for adults with or without mental illness and developmental or physical disabilities. Phipps is also a highly trained social worker with experience working as a community psychiatric specialist, a coordinator for community resources, and a care plan program designer. She serves as a navigator, helping patients and their families traverse the healthcare system, obtain insurance coverage and benefits, coordinate resource benefits and formulate a life plan for themselves.
Individuals with physical disability are known to be the most disadvantaged and marginalized group in society. Hence, making sure they access their benefits is paramount to Phipps. Many families and patients are misinformed, says Phipps:
They have a belief that you cannot have any assets and still be able to have system benefits for your loved ones with special needs, and that’s not true. They can once the assets are in a protected trust or ABLE account. So we help them to understand where they need to go to get the benefits that this person needs, what benefits they need; and then we help them to monitor the benefits once they’re put in place.
As part of her role as a care manager, Phipps educates and empowers her clients and families. No matter their ages, Phipps is an advocate for the young and old. Phipps has worked with both children and adults. The youngest person Phipps has worked with has been two years old and the oldest adult 89-years old.
Intervention Associates provides care and service that are individualized and specialized. Phipps explains that “If someone is very medically fragile, we’re likely to be very involved with their health-care advocacy. Other families will hire us just to do a once-a-year review of the system benefits and maybe they’ll help them with doing their Medicaid renewals; but it just depends on the person, really.”
Like all of the care managers with a mission to help others, Phipps is extremely knowledgeable in her field. She admits that Intervention Associates knowledge and scope of practice tend to be broader than the typical care manager and social worker. There are many components of the public system that are both static and dynamic. There are many channels for information and coordinated activities between national, state and local levels. Unfortunately, most of these professionals are knowledgeable about their field only. Someone in social security may be able to give information about social security’s benefits but not about waiver programs with Medicaid or the health-care system.
“If you go to these other systems, they’re going to be able to tell [you] about their business but not really outside of that very much. And so we’re kind of the central person that has the knowledge and expertise necessary to bring everything together [so that families] understand how all of these different services and benefits work together, and the things that families need to be aware of tied to these services and benefits,” emphasizes Phipps.
Phipps is the personification of the word “intervention” in these cases. Her ability to help improve the lives of her patients and their families is fueled by her passion.
Wanting to make a difference, Phipps became a social worker. She wanted to make sure that her profession mattered to others. “I love working with this population because there’s so much to be corrected out there and you find that you can be a really integral part in their life and in educating the people around them.” When Phipps worked at a previous agency, she worked with the group nobody really wanted: individuals who may have a developmental or intellectual disability. Whereas most people who worked with this population felt they had a hard time connecting and getting through, Phipps took up the challenge, for she felt “the work you do within is the same. You just change your approach and you have to be understanding about how their additional diagnosis can, maybe, add a challenge to the situation.”
In other words, Phipps believes that the work you do within your inner being is also universal, for it impacts others. Holding yourself in the light of patience and compassion can only be passed on to others when self-attained. It is a continuing journey but one that she has embraced in her professional life.
It is no surprise that Phipps says her favorite phrase is “no one is too important to be kind.” Phipps recognizes and identifies with the humanity in everyone she works with. To Phipps, the differences she sees in her clients are mere differences. They are not to be feared. Phipps encourages and reminds you to treat people with physical or intellectual disability as you are, and to realize that in so many ways they are not so very different.
The care managers at Intervention Associates are truly exceptional. They genuinely love being able to help families through the process of planning for special needs or whatever diagnosis the person may have. Their expertise, advocacy, knowledge and passion are what set them apart and make Intervention Associates and outstanding care management company.