Behavioral Health Care Manager

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The behavioral health care manager coordinates the overall effort of the group and ensures effective communication among team members. Behavioral health care managers are typically nurses, psychologists, social workers or licensed counselors, but the ability to perform the tasks that need to be completed and creating a tailored plan for who will do each of those tasks is much more important than one's credentials.

A behavioral health care manager is a behavioral health professional, typically a counselor, clinical social worker, psychologist or psychiatric nurse, who performs all of the care management tasks including offering psychotherapy when that is part of the treatment plan. A behavioral health care manager is not the same as a case manager or a behavioral health consultant (Which Flavor of Integrated Care? describes the difference between collaborative care and the behavioral health consultant model). A full-time behavioral health care manager typically oversees 100-150 patients, depending on how the program is structured. Effective behavioral health care managers support the PCP in his/her role by coordinating treatment, providing proactive follow-up of treatment response, alerting the PCP when the patient is not improving, supporting medication management, and facilitating communication with the psychiatric consultant regarding treatment changes. They also offer brief counseling (using evidence-based techniques such as motivational interviewing, behavioral activation, and problem-solving treatment) and help facilitate changes in treatment if patients are not improving as expected. Behavioral Health Care Manager Job Description

Some behavioral health care manager duties and responsibilities can be assigned to other members of the care team; however, behvavioral health care managers on a collaborative care team need to build a unique set of clinical skills specific to practicing in primary care and other healthcare settings.