Under a new federal rule to protect consumers from surprise health care bills, clinical social workers (CSW) must, effective January 1, 2022, provide a good faith estimate (GFE) of expected charges that may be billed for items and services to individuals who are uninsured (e.g., not enrolled in any health plan or coverage) or who are self-pay (e.g., not seeking to file a claim with their plan or coverage). The GFE must be provided both orally and in writing, upon request or at the time of scheduling health care items and services, and within specific timeframes.
The rule applies to both current and future patients who are uninsured or self-pay. However, GFEs do not need to be provided to patients who are enrolled in federal health insurance plans (e.g., Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, Indian Health Service or the Veterans Affairs health system).
Providing a GFE to patients is not new to CSWs who, as part of best clinical practice, routinely discuss services and fees before or during the initial interview with new patients. Read more at the Social Work Blog.
Medicare Finalizes Rule for CY 2022, Includes Welcome Telehealth Continuation Provisions.The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on November 3 released a Medicare final rule for Calendar Year 2022 that includes welcome provisions on telehealth and the Quality Payment Program (QPP). The agency has implemented many of the provisions that NASW requested in its comment letter. Among other provisions, the agency has removed geographic limitations (enabling clients to receive services from their home) and will continue to allow the use of audio-only devices for the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of mental health disorders and for substance use disorder treatment. Clinical social workers are also now eligible to participate in the QPP. Note that under the final rule, an in-person, non-telehealth visit must be furnished at least every 12 months for mental health services, although exceptions to the in-person visit requirement may be made based on beneficiary circumstances (with the reason documented in the patient’s medical record). NASW continues to advocate for removal of this in-person requirement. NASW is evaluating the 2400+ pages of the final rule, including the reimbursement provisions, and will be providing an analysis for members soon. View CMS’ FAQs on the rule.
NASW is developing a Back-to-School Campaign for School Social Workers and are seeking school social workers to share their school stories and experiences about COVID-19 in the form of a brief video no longer than 3 minutes. The videos will be shared with schools, parents, students, and others across the country. If you are interested, please submit your video by August 7, 2021, to Greg Wright, NASW Communication Director, at email@example.com. Questions about this matter, may be sent to Cynthia Henderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participate in NASW’s national town hall about the intersection of social work and racial justice. Share your experiences with colleagues and discuss the social work profession's role in ending racism.
JuneteenthJune 19, 2020 | 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. ET Go to NASW’s Facebook page on June 19.
Discuss Key Issues:-NASW's racial justice priorities-Eliminating police brutality-Reducing health care and economic disparities-Increasing social work investments in communities-Fighting racism within the social work profession
*No continuing education (CE) credits will be offered for this event and there are no presentations. It will be recorded.
During the COVID-19 public health emergency, school social workers are essential staff and continue to play a vital role in ensuring that students continue to receive much-needed mental health, education, and other services despite school disruptions from the pandemic. This practice alert provides a list of helpful resources for school social workers.
NASW played a lead role in conceiving and funding The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Consensus Study Report, Integrating Social Care into the Delivery of Health Care: Moving Upstream to Improve the Nation’s Health. This landmark report recognizes that social workers are specialists in identifying and addressing social needs, and it includes numerous recommendations to ensure that the nation’s health care systems address the many factors that contribute to health.
1 Aging & Long-Term Care credit hour, approved by NASW
FREE for NASW members; $20 for nonmembers.
Despite the fact that thousands of workers have contracted COVID-19 on the job, and hundreds of workers have died from this highly infectious disease, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has failed to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance to protect all workers from exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.
Congress must take the important step of requiring OSHA to issue mandated protections that will help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. These protections are critical for social workers and the clients that we serve.
On April 16th each year, NASW celebrates National Healthcare Decisions Day to empower individuals to engage in advance care planning (ACP). As individuals, families, and communities face the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of conversations about health care treatment preferences comes into new focus. Social workers play a vital role in facilitating ACP. ACP is not only about end-of-life care. At any time in your life, if you are not able to make health care decisions for yourself, who will speak on your behalf? Read a new Practice Alert from Carrie Dorn, MPA, LMSW, NASW Senior Practice Associate for Health
With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has temporarily expanded its telehealth policies on an emergency basis under the 1135 waiver authority and the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. During the waiver period which began March 6, 2020, cost-sharing may be reduced or waived and clinical social workers (CSWs) may seek reimbursement for telehealth psychotherapy services furnished via telehealth to patients whether they are in their home or in an outpatient setting such as an office, assisted living facility, or nursing home. For telehealth services, CSWs will also be reimbursed at the same rate as an in-person service.
NASW, CSWE and ASWB want to hear how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting you as a social work professional. We want to better understand the challenges you face, and how you have responded to these unprecedented times. Please complete this brief survey (5 minutes) about your experience.
COVID-19 is a public health crisis that directly or indirectly impacts nearly every household in the country. An epidemic of such proportions poses a threat to the physical health of Americans, and is disruptive to employment, education, voting, the 2020 Census, and daily patterns of socialization. All of this presents challenges to the economic and emotional well-being of children and adults alike. NASW is concerned with equitable treatment of all Americans affected by natural disasters and public health emergencies, especially America’s vulnerable and marginalized populations. We know from past experiences that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the general population will be exponentially increased among those who live on the margins of our society. It is critical that these families and individuals are not excluded from federal and state governments’ mobilization of resources to fight the spread of COVID-19—as well as protecting them from the related social and civic disruptions that will inevitably occur as the virus spreads.
Social Workers: Join NASW for real talk about the Impact of COVID-19 on Tuesday, April 21, 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm ET
NASW's Office of Ethics and Professional Review, Office of General Counsel and Clinical Practice are collaboratively hosting a Question and Answer teleconference for the profession.
This Q & A Session will:
It's Free! Space is limited.
On Friday, a bipartisan Dear Colleague letter was circulated in the House by Representative Kim Schrier (D-WA), Representative Don Young (R-AK) and Representative Karen Bass, MSW (D-CA). Additional funding is needed for child abuse prevention and services. It is extremely important that we get as many bipartisan members of the House to sign on as possible. Please email your Representative to ask them to sign on to the member-led letter, which closes Tuesday, April 14 at 12:00pm ET.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is unified with other Federal partners in leading the medical response to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. As the Nation’s largest healthcare network, the VA is preparing to support its fourth mission to provide health care to Veterans and civilians in an emergency or disaster. To assist with surge planning, the VA is recruiting social workers to support this mission and to help with COVID-19 operations in Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities across the nation. The National Social Work Program Office in collaboration with Workforce Management and Consulting has posted two nationwide Social Work job announcements to assist with hiring a pool of qualified social workers to fill needs at VA facilities on a temporary basis. Newly hired social workers may be assigned to provide relief on existing units and teams within the healthcare facility, staff newly created units or develop and deploy new programs and resources. These announcements allow for candidates to apply at locations across the nation, and will remain open and continuous until the need no longer exists:
GS-11 Social Worker
GS-12 Senior Social Worker
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently implemented temporary flexibilities in regulations regarding telehealth in order to ensure that beneficiaries can access health and mental health services during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Many Medicare beneficiaries either do not have access to smartphones, do not know how to use video chat capability, or do not have adequate, reliable internet service to support video communications. A number of states as well as commercial health plans are allowing the use of audio-only devices; Medicare needs to do the same.
Telehealth is a critical strategy during COVID-19, and so is the need for ethics and technology education. Below is a list of relevant archived webinars that are now available free for our members.
Visit NASW's Coronavirus resources page for more information and resources.
The recording of this March 23, 2020 Medicare webinar is now available on-demand in the NASW CE Institute, free of charge to NASW members.
The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) has provided this useful tool for locating emergency provisions pertaining to social work licensure by state. If a state is not included in the tool, it indicates there not currently emergency provisions related to COVID-19. We appreciate this resource from ASWB, which they will update as new information is available.
The COVID-19 (coronavirus) is rapidly transforming the way we go about day-to-day living. What should social workers do to prepare for the impact of this pandemic?
"We are faced with a health care emergency of international proportions. As we help people in our communities, we need to search out the best available information. There are many reliable resources beginning with our local public health agencies, the Centers for Disease Control, and the WHO. I encourage you to look at the NASW Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage for information and resources that all of you can use as we band together to do our best during this difficult time."
Registration is now open for the 2020 NASW National Conference – Social Workers Make a Difference, June 14-17 in Washington, DC. Join more than 2,000 social workers, like-minded professionals, and social work thought leaders for four days of unparalleled education and experiences.
Urge your Congressional lawmakers to cosponsor the Protecting Social Workers and Health Professionals from Workplace Violence Act (S. 2880/H.R. 5138).
The bipartisan Protecting Social Workers and Health Professionals from Workplace Violence Act is urgently needed legislation that will strengthen workplace protections for social workers and health care professionals.