For updated information regarding the political action in our state, we are including our newsletter from The Clay Firm.
January 22, 2016 Newsletter.pdf
Size : 332.96 Kb
Type : pdf
NASW, MS CHAPTER 2016 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
Adopted by NASW MS Board of Directors October 3, 2015
NASW, MS Chapter supports maintaining social work licensure with current language in the Law.
We oppose combining the MS Board of Examiners for Social Workers and Marriage & Family Therapists with other Boards.
We endorse the establishment of a stand alone agency for Family & Children's Services with professional level licensed social workers in front line child protective service positions under the supervision of professional level licensed social worker management.
We support legislative recognition of national school social worker credentialing as well as an increase in school social workers.
We support Medicaid Expansion as allowed for in the affordable care act. NASW, MS chapter supports the rights of all individuals to have affordable, accessible, and high quality healthcare.
NASW, MS Chapter supports a change in the current flag of Mississippi. The current flag creates division among large numbers of Mississippians and does not properly reflect the Mississippi of today.
Symbols are a powerful presence in human experience, among all people, in all places around the world, in all walks of life, since the beginning of humankind. Symbols represent meaning in our lives. By continuing to sanction public display of the Confederate flag within Mississippi's flag, a known symbol of hate and oppression, we continue to deny the historical pattern of discrimination and oppression, and the brutal and unequal treatment of Mississippi's black citizens. History must be preserved, and in the context that is correct -- a past chapter in Mississippi's history. To move forward, we must address racism that continues to exist in areas of education, employment, housing, health, mental health, social services, and political activity. NASW, MS Chapter supports an inclusive society and believes that now is time for a new flag to become part of the solution.
Below are Links to Other Social Concern Websites...
http://mhap.org/index.php - Mississippi Health Advocacy Program
http://splcenter.org/ - Southern Poverty Law Center
You can access up to the minute information on all legislative activity as well as find out
how to contact your Senators, Representatives and other elected officials by going to
the Mississippi Legislative website: http://legislature.ms.gov.
Find out who your personal Representative and Senator are by clicking on
http://openstates.org and use your address. To find out where to go vote visit
Another link that provides legislative information on a state and national level
YOUR EMAIL AND LETTER STILL NEEDED!!!
Please review and write your letter of support to our Senators and Congressmen in Washington, asking them to co-sign these new bills that were introduced October 5, 2015 and still in need of co-sponsors and supporters! These support clinical social work and open barriers to more services for those in need! For more information about the history of the bill and NASW's role, go to http://www.socialworkers.org.
Improving Access to Mental Health Act of 2015
(Federal Legislation S. 2173/H.R. 3712)
Section 1. Short Title. The Act may be cited as the “Improving Access to Mental Health Act of 2015”.
Section 2(a). Improve Medicare Beneficiaries’ Access to Mental Health Services. Increases Medicare reimbursement for clinical social worker services (CSWs) to 85% of the physician fee schedule rate. This would establish the Medicare payment rate for professional services rendered by CSWs at the same rate as other non-physician professionals.
Section 2(b). Ensure Access to Clinical Social Worker Services Provided to Residents of Skilled Nursing Facilities. Amends section 1888 of the Social Security Act to provide Medicare beneficiaries with access to CSW services by including CSWs among the providers that are exempted from skilled nursing facility consolidated billing.
Section 2(c). Ensure Medicare Beneficiaries Receive All Services Within a Clinical Social Worker’s Legally Authorized Scope of Practice. This section amends the definition of CSW to specifically permit Medicare to reimburse CSWs for performing Health Behavior and Assessment services and all services that CSWs are legally authorized to perform under State law or the regulatory mechanism provided by State law. These changes will enable Medicare beneficiaries to access a more robust set of services rendered by CSWs.
Section 2(d). Effective Date. The amendments made by the Improve Medicare Beneficiaries’ Access to Mental Health Services Act of 2015 will go into effect for items and services furnished on or after January 1, 2016.
Dear Honorable __________,
As your constituent and a social worker in Mississippi, I want to express my support for the Improving Access to Mental Health Act of 2015 (S. 2173/H.R. 3712) to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries receive continuous and complete access to high quality mental health services from clinical social workers (CSWs).
CSWs play an essential role in providing access to high-quality mental health services to Medicare beneficiaries. CSWs use a holistic approach in providing mental health and other services to Medicare beneficiaries that includes psychological, behavioral, emotional, cognitive, and social factors. As one of three mental health professionals that provide psychotherapy services to Medicare beneficiaries, CSWs play a vital role in the provision of mental health services across the nation including remote areas.
S. 2173/H.R. 3712 will lift patient access barriers that beneficiaries face if they are residents of a skilled nursing facility (SNF). Currently, CSWs are unable to be reimbursed as independent Medicare Part B providers for mental health services delivered to beneficiaries receiving SNF services under Medicare Part A. This is an unnecessary barrier that disrupts the continuity of mental health treatment for Medicare beneficiaries who suddenly require a higher level of medical care but can no longer receive mental health services from their provider of choice, a clinical social worker. This legislation would also allow CSWs to provide and receive Medicare reimbursement for critical health and behavior assessment and intervention (HBAI) services that help Medicare beneficiaries cope with the emotional, behavioral, and psychosocial concerns associated with various medical conditions.
To ensure that Medicare beneficiaries can access services provided by CSWs, this legislation would raise the Medicare reimbursement rate from 75% to 85% of the physician fee schedule amount. A higher reimbursement rate of 85% would encourage CSWs to become and remain Medicare providers and increase access to mental health services for beneficiaries. By raising this rate, payment parity would be established between CSWs and other non-physician practitioners. Our legislation recognizes the shortage of mental health providers and the limitations its places on beneficiary access.
The time is now to guarantee that patients have full access to quality mental health services from CSWs in the Medicare program. Please let me know if you will be supporting this critical bill.
(put your name, social work credentials;
add your address and contact phone and//or email--be sure to put your city/MS
to confirm you are a constituent!)
Please let the chapter office know if you have had correspondence with any of our Senators and Congressmen in Washington and what their response is. This remains a critical bill for action!!! Thank you!