It’s time to get unstuck. With 2021—and a coronavirus vaccine—finally in sight, it’s time to move forward. One way to do that is to stretch yourself professionally. For professional case managers, this could mean earning the Certified Case Manager® (CCM®) credential.
More than 48,000 case managers hold the CCM—the oldest and most widely held case manager credential. It’s the gold standard.
Who we are:
The Commission for Case Manager Certification® is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that oversees the process of case manager certification with its CCM and CDMS credentials.
We’re not an association or a society. We are a credentialing organization that advances research-based standards built on decades of experience. We promote quality case management practice; ethical standards and behavior; and scientific and practice-based knowledge development and dissemination.
In the era of COVID-19, the advancement of scientific and practice-based knowledge has become most important.
Helping case managers stay current:
Case managers have faced tremendous stress these last 10 months. Amid all this, we’re seeing a real hunger for knowledge. Case managers want to be the possible resource to clients, caregivers, and colleagues as well as to their own friends and family. They need to find ways to keep themselves physically and mentally healthy during this precarious time.
At the Commission, we’ve provided an array of resources to equip all case managers—not just our certificants—for these unprecedented challenges. Here’s a look at some of the recent offerings:
* An ongoing webinar series. The webinars are always available to watch for free but during the pandemic, the webinars below were offered with a free CE for a limited time.
* Creating Healthy & Equitable Communities: A New Social Compact for Health
* 7 Ways to Build Resilience: As a Person, As a Case Manager
* Actionable Solutions to Minimize “Deaths of Despair”: The Epidemic Within the Pandemic
* Finding Your Voice: Advocating for Clients During a Pandemic
* We’ve curated a list of COVID-19 resources that covers everything from the latest research to material to share with clients: Understanding the enemy: A curated list of COVID-19 resources for case managers.
* Our Push Pause: Stop. Exhale. Share. series features 90 seconds of wisdom from some of the nation’s top inspirational speakers meant to inspire hope and resilience.
* Our Take a Listen podcast series features CCMC leaders offering four-minute insights on an array of topics. Among them:
* Tips to help you get a handle on the COVID-19 pandemic with Commission chair Michelle Baker, BS, RN, CRRN, CCM
* Tips for successfully handling social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic with Chikita Mann, MSN, RN, CCM
* The Commission has been posting blogs and sending letters to keep CCMs up to date. You can find all our blogs here.
All that is on top of the suite of educational opportunities through the CMLearning Network. It includes a range of live and on-demand learning opportunities, including webinars, issue briefs, podcasts, CareManagement journal, Certification 360™ Virtual, Certification 24/7™, CCMC’s 2021 Virtual New World Symposium, Pre-Approved Continuing Education (PACE), CCMC’s Case Management Body of Knowledge® (CMBOK®) and many other features.
So why are we talking about this now? COVID-19 has made the need for CCMs even more acute. It has never been more essential for case managers to be at the top of their game and to be able to work anywhere, both face-to-face and virtually. The CCM credential ensures that they are. It is an interdisciplinary, cross-practice setting credential that provides case managers the flexibility they need to remain relevant and ready to meet the client where they are, both literally and figuratively.
We’ve seen rapid advances in technology, including artificial intelligence; the growing use of virtual care; brutal reminders of the impact of social determinants of health; and an overdue focus on patient-centeredness. COVID-19 is accelerating the consideration of these issues. The CCM credential demonstrates your readiness to take on all of them.
And it’s not just personal: Colleagues and employers recognize the value of the CCM. Eight-eight percent of CCMs report that obtaining the certification has had a positive career impact—improving employment options, advancing professional standing, and enhancing personal growth. Even more (94%) have recommended the CCM to other case managers. (1)
As the only interdisciplinary, cross-practice-setting case manager certification accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, the CCM carries weight.
The exam and exam resources:
Thinking about the exam? Let’s start with one of the biggest concerns: the fees. They are modest: The application fee is $210, and the exam is $185. That’s $395.
Certification lasts five years, so amortized, it comes to $79 a year. Many times, the case manager doesn’t even have to pay. Many board-certified case managers report that their employers pay the initial certification exam (2). In addition, the CCM exam fee is reimbursable under the GI Bill.
CCMC is also proud to present a scholarship opportunity through the Patrice V. Sminkey Memorial Foundation that provides and supports education programs and initiatives to broaden and advance the education and training of professional case managers.
If you started a CCM exam application in the past, it’s worth noting that the application process has recently changed; you are no longer required to upload a copy of your actual license or degree which qualifies you to sit for the exam.
As for the exam itself: It’s based on the new blueprint that went into effect in December 2020. Reviewing the blueprint will give you an idea of what you need to study.
The exam is rigorous, but we want you to pass. We want you to earn the CCM credential. To that end, we offer an array of exam prep materials, including
* the CCM Pocket Prep Map,
* the CCM Glossary app available in the iTunes store and on Google Play,
* the printable CCMC Glossary,
* a practice exam,
* a suggested reference list, and
* Certification 360™ Virtual Workshops that will be offered in February.
And of course, as an exam candidate, you are never required to take any course or purchase any study materials.
You can find the newest eligibility requirements here.
Take the step
At the Commission, we’re working to ensure the professional case manager’s role is acknowledged as essential to the delivery of quality, cost-effective, and efficient care. If you want to join our ranks, check out our FAQs on getting certified. The deadline has passed for the December exam, but it’s not too soon to sign up for the next administration in April; the application deadline is Jan 31, 2021.
It’s almost 2021—time to move forward. Those three letters ‘CCM’ will transform your career.
Debby Formica has been with the Commission since 2010. She served previously as director of administration and operations, assistant vice president, and director of business development. In her new role as COO, Formica is responsible for oversight of certification services, management of volunteers, and implementation of the strategic direction provided by the Board of Commissioners. Formica has extensive experience in financial analysis, project management, and certification services. She began her career by spending eight years in healthcare financial consulting with CBIZ KA Consulting Services before moving to Johnson & Johnson as a manager in contract management and analysis. She holds a bachelor of science in accounting from Lehigh University and is a member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, the American Society of Association Executives and the Mid-Atlantic Society of Association Executives. Formica is also president and founder of Helpful Gifts from the Heart, a non-profit that benefits families dealing with pediatric cancer.
(1) February 2019 | Growth, Benefits and Value: Insight into Today’s CCM
(2) “Health2 Resources and CCMC, Professional and Demographic Characteristics of CCMs” January 2019.