Practical and measurable definitions of care coordination, care management, and case management

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Integrated behavioral health is a population-based approach that acknowledges the chronic nature of most mental illnesses and the need for services beyond those delivered in face-to-face visits. These services have been referred to by different and confusing names with over 40 definitions of care coordination concepts in the literature. Kilbourne et al. in a recent article in this journal divided these tasks into three groups: care coordination, care management and case management with associated definitions provided as used in the veterans affairs system. In this commentary, while drawing on over a decade of experience in implementing care management models in the Mayo clinic system of care, I will suggest we need to be even more specific with these definitions. I propose these terms be linked to critical and measurable tasks in the management of chronic conditions, thus allowing those administrating or researching these interventions to better assess fidelity, processes and outcomes when a model is applied to a population of patients with chronic conditions in an integrated setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)664-666
Number of pages3
JournalTranslational behavioral medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • Care coordination
  • Care management
  • Case management
  • Chronic illness
  • Population health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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