Legality and Ethics for Case Management

Legality and Ethics for Case Management


Case management is a process used to coordinate and manage the care of a patient, family, or group of individuals across the healthcare continuum. This includes activities such as assessing a patient’s condition, determining the most appropriate care plan, coordinating care with different providers, monitoring the patient’s progress, and advocating for the patient’s best interests. The legal and ethical components of case management are integral to the practice, as it is important that case managers are aware of the relevant laws and regulations concerning patient care and the ethical considerations that must be taken into account when providing care to patients.


Case management has been used in the healthcare field for decades, but the concept was formalized in the 1980s with the introduction of managed care organizations. These organizations were responsible for coordinating the care of patients across the healthcare continuum and providing oversight and quality assurance. Since then, case management has become increasingly important in both public and private healthcare settings, as it has been shown to improve the delivery of care and reduce costs.


The legality and ethics of case management are based on a number of principles, including autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. Autonomy is the right of a patient to make decisions regarding their care, and case managers must respect this right. Beneficence is the obligation of case managers to act in the best interests of their patients, and to take all appropriate steps to ensure the safety of the patient. Non-maleficence is the obligation to do no harm to the patient, and case managers must take special care to avoid any actions that could cause harm to the patient. Finally, justice is the obligation to treat all patients fairly and equitably, and to ensure that the patient is receiving the best possible care.


Case management is a vital part of the healthcare system, and it is important for case managers to be aware of the legal and ethical considerations that accompany the practice. By understanding the principles of autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice, case managers can ensure that they are providing the best possible care for their patients.


Byrne, S., & Kelleher, C. (2018). Health professionals’ perceptions of case management: A qualitative study. Health & Social Care in the Community, 26(2), 313-322.

Coughlan, M., & Cronin, P. (2015). A descriptive study of case management models in Ireland. Health & Social Care in the Community, 23(6), 667-676.

Grady, C., & Gill, D. (2017). Legal and ethical issues in case management. Case Management Journal, 18(4), 167-175.

Keegan, J., & Williams, P. (2016). An evaluation of case management: A qualitative study. Health & Social Care in the Community, 25(4), 1038-1046.

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