Hospital Case Manager Role-How can they help me with medical equipment?

Hospital Case Manager Role

If your physician is planning on your hospitalization for your orthopedic surgery, you will likely meet a hospital case manager. Part of the hospital case manager’s role is to help you through the process on discharge planning, which include coordinating your medical equipment delivery.

Your case manager, (either a nurse or a social worker) will be coordinating any needed home medical equipment, and home care not already arranged by your orthopedic doctor.

Case managers can send referrals to your insurance preferred providers to try to get the medical equipment delivered prior to your discharge to home.

Barriers when trying to arrange medical equipment in the hospital

The above in fact sounds good on paper, but you might encounter several barriers to your discharge home.

For example, you will probably experience unexpected delays due to either your insurance authorization, unavailability of your medical equipment at the time of the order, and Holidays/Weekends delay due to no available providers, between others.

Every hospital has its own system through medical equipment, and home care. Not every system works, and there might even be miscommunication among the same personnel.

Make sure you did your best in obtaining everything prior to your hospitalization. You probably won’t want an extra day of hospital bills just because you did not get your medical equipment previously, and that’s all you’re waiting on.

Talk to your orthopedic doctor and his office team about how can you get your medical equipment prior to your hospitalization. Otherwise, anticipate some potential delays during your hospital stay.

Is there a particular reason as to why do I have to follow up myself?

You might be thinking, and “why am I being held responsible for this?”

As a social worker, and hospital case manager, I have to deal with daily delays with patients that did not get their medical equipment prior to their discharge.

In my case for example, often times patients are not provided with their medical equipment prescription, or the office is not coordinating delivery of medical equipment prior their hospitalization.

With almost every case I encounter that did not get their medical equipment, that patient will experience a delay, and/or a barrier to discharge to their homes.

The majority of the time is that the patients are waiting all day for their equipment to arrive. Other times, the provider can not deliver the same day, or simply, they do not have the item in stock.

Unplanned Procedures

If for example you suffered from a hip or knee fracture, and you went through the emergency department, there is no way of course that you anticipated this to happen, and therefore, you will not have the needed medical equipment.

However, do provide with your health insurance information, or this misinformation will cause unnecessary delays to your discharge planning.

Important Reminders

Common practice is to process medical equipment prior to your admission. However, there might be some opportunities when it comes to your orthopedic doctor team, and arranging not only medical equipment, but also your medications, and home care prior to your surgery.

Whether you are on the first or second situation, make sure you work closely with your discharge planner, your orthopedic doctor and his office, as well as your own health insurance.

Communication, like in every scenario, is key to a successful transition from your hospital to your home.

Thank you for taking the time for reading this. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email to

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