My blogs are usually from the perspective of the investigator. Today, I will look at the importance of the SIU Director in the success of the unit. While I stretch the abbreviations a bit, the focus of this will be on the three “CM”s and their impact.

Case Management – This concept includes individual case oversight as well as caseload management. SIU Directors must be in charge of case management. This begins with lead generation. The SIU Director needs to understand and make known the priorities of the plan and any criteria that leads must meet. Further, they must implement the process that ensures the right leads in the right quantity get assigned to the right investigators.

Case Management also includes overseeing the development of each case. The SIU Director has the responsibility of overseeing the progress of each case, making sure the investigations are moving forward, that the investigative plans are appropriate, the investigative steps are conducted effectively and well, and the cases are documented in such a way as to accurately reflect the cases’ progress and support the resolution of the case. The SIU Director must also oversee the resolution of the cases, making sure that the SIU is recommending the best course of action, in line with the facts of the case and in keeping with plan policies and priorities.

Case management also includes overseeing the caseloads of each member of the unit. An SIU can only be successful if its investigators carry the right number and mix of cases. A good SIU Director will know the capacity and capabilities of their staff – assigning the right cases to the right people in the right amounts. Without proper caseload management, the SIU cannot succeed. Investigators will be bored, overburdened, lost and ineffective; juggling too many cases, working cases below their level of expertise, struggling to understand a new area or simply frustrated as cases never reach resolution.

Communication Mastery (told you I was stretching this a bit) – An SIU Director must communicate in multiple directions. The Director must communicate with their staff – providing them accurate descriptions of the expectations, priorities and requirements of the plan(s) for which they work. The Director also needs to communicate with the other program integrity partners, to ensure that the activities of the SIU are in concert with the myriad of other program integrity activities and projects being implemented. The Director must communicate with other stakeholders- law enforcement agencies, State agencies, other plans. This communication is instrumental in making sure the SIU’s work reaches the right audience. Finally, the SIU Director must communicate with the plan(s). The SIU Director must provide accurate information to the plan(s) concerning the activities of the SIU. This communication may be in the form of regular reports, status updates and/or individual case presentations. Whatever the means of communication, the Director must know the case information in such detail as to answer any questions that the plans or stakeholders may have. The bottom line is that the Director must provide timely, accurate and substantive information to everyone involved In the SIU operation.

Career Mentoring – The ”CM”s above are a daunting combination of responsibilities. For that reason, from Day 1, the SIU Director must be looking for people to whom they can delegate at least some of the duties. Trying to keep all of these duties is the surest avenue toward SIU failure and a short, stressful career. A good Director will be grooming their successor(s) from the start. Utilizing Team Leads to help manage cases and caseloads and selecting people to oversee the communication of accurate information to the plan(s) and stakeholders are keys to long term success. An SIU Director must focus on finding the people they can trust to execute these tasks. Without proper delegation of responsibilities to effective staff members, the SIU will be a house of cards with a single point of failure.

The ”CM”s of the SIU Director is a road map to success. One in which Advize Health has dedicated itself to follow.

By Matt Kochanski