Professional case managers can now apply to take the Commission's board-certification exam MOUNT LAUREL, N.J., Dec. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As 2012 winds to a close, hospitals will pay $280 million in penalties for readmitting too many Medicare patients within 30 days of hospital discharge. The professional case manager plays a role in keeping costly readmissions in check. A keen focus on improving care coordination and eliminating gaps in care that lead to unnecessary readmissions are reasons case managers are in demand as the experts who can make a bottom-line difference in health care organizations. Findings from a Commission for Case Manager Certification (CCMC®) survey of 4,613 of its 30,000-plus board-certified case managers offer new insight into the professional characteristics of the nation's highest achieving case managers and the critical role they play. The Commission is the nation's oldest and largest nationally accredited organization that certifies case managers; professional case managers seek board certification as validation of their skills and capabilities. The organization recently commissioned a survey of its board-certified case managers to better understand how they are rising to the challenges of today's health care environment. The findings are now available through an education campaign called CMCoordinates™, featuring "fast facts" about board-certified case managers to inform health care leaders and employers about their work to improve care delivery and efficiency. Charts and graphics illustrate the findings, which are presented with supporting data from trusted sources such as the Institute of Medicine and the policy journal Health Affairs. CMCoordinates can be viewed at http://ccmcertification.org/cmcoordinates. The survey found that more than 90 percent of board-certified case managers are registered nurses; they are joined by other licensed professionals including social workers, rehabilitation counselors and disability management professionals. Specialty training within case management abounds: More than half of board-certified case managers surveyed were trained in at least one specialty area.