VOICE YOUR OPPOSITION NOW TO
STOP SOCIAL WORKER PAYMENT CUTS
Deadline: Friday, September 27
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed two reductions in reimbursement for clinical social workers (CSWs) who are Medicare providers. These proposed cuts include a four (4) percent cut in 2020 for code revisions or a seven (7) percent cut in 2021 to increase reimbursement for evaluation and management (E/M) services which are provided by physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) strongly opposes these cuts.
The proposed reductions are included in the proposed rule issued by CMS, “File Code CMS-1715-P; CY 2020 Revisions to Payment Policies under the Physician Payment Schedule and Other Changes to Part B Payment Policies.”
CSWs are already only reimbursed at 75% of the physician fee schedule, lower than any other mental health provider in Medicare Part B. NASW’s congressional champions have introduced legislation in the House and Senate to increase this rate to 85%.
If CSWs cannot afford to remain in Medicare, then millions of Medicare beneficiaries, including older adults and persons with disabilities, will lose access to essential mental health services. The nation can ill afford to implement these disincentives to CSW participation in this major federal program.
Even if you are not a Medicare provider, it is important to note that private insurance often follows Medicare’s lead when updating payment rates and policies. In other words, this proposal may affect all CSWs.
We urge you to reach out to CMS by this Friday, September 27 to make your voice heard. Simply click on the link below to send a pre-completed email to CMS Administrator Seema Verma expressing your opposition to the proposed payment cuts.
NASW is submitting comments on the proposed rule.
Thank you for your engagement in this critically important advocacy effort.
Psychiatric Medical Care focusses on geriatric inpatient and outpatient counseling in rural areas. We have 70 programs in 20 states and operate two programs in West Virginia. We wanted to reach out and ensure that your social worker members knew of our programs as community resources and also, if any of your membership are looking for jobs, we have openings in both programs.
1) The first program is Senior Life Solutions, a program affiliated with Broaddus Hospital in Philippi, WV. It offers outpatient, intensive counseling for seniors in Philippi who are suffering from grief, depression or other behavioral health issues related to aging. . Once referred to the program, we offer counseling sessions three times a week, three times each day. Patients receive socialization, a free lunch. In some programs patients may qualify for free transportation. Referrals to Senior Life Solutions can be made by anyone, including a patient’s physician, family member, or other health care professional. Senior Life Solutions is located at 6 Healthcare Drive, Philippi, WV. To make a referral, please call 304.457.8132.
2) Our second West Virginia program is a new inpatient geriatric psychiatry unit—Laurel Place, located within Davis Medical Center in Elkins, WV. Laurel Place Behavioral Health, provides evaluation and inpatient treatment for older adults, typically over 55 years of age, who are suffering from mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and behaviors related to dementia. The 20-bed unit just opened last month and is almost fully staffed. Here are some basic referral criteria: Persons 55 and older (we consider 45 and up on a case-by-case basis) with a) psychiatric disorders, or b) dementia diagnosis with behavioral disturbance, c)recent suicide attempt or d) is presenting as a danger to self or others. Anyone can refer individuals to the program, including family members, physicians, or other health professionals. Contact the Program Director at 304.630.3508 for information on making arrangements for admission to Laurel Place. Here is the link for more information on our current inpatient program in Clinton, VA and the similar services offered at Laurel Place: https://www.psychmc.com/green-oak.
You asked, and we listened! At the 2018 CMS National Training Program (NTP) Workshops, you can expect 2½ days of tailored training to meet a variety of learning needs. Whether you’re building a foundation of basic Medicare knowledge, or you want to expand your expertise, there’s something for everyone. You can attend the entire 2½-day workshop, or only the days that meet your varied interests and needs. Day 1 provides the basics, Day 2 has cross-cutting information including legislative and program updates, and Day 3 provides a deeper dive into more advanced topics. It will be helpful if you bring a laptop or tablet to participate in the casework activities. The locations and dates for the workshops are listed below. Attend the location that works for you. And, it’s free!
July 31–August 2
The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center
1 E Pershing Road Kansas City, MO 64108
Region II—New York
New York Hilton Midtown
1335 6th Avenue New York, NY 10019
The Artic Club Seattle
700 3rd Avenue Seattle, WA 98104
Loews Atlanta Hotel
1065 Peachtree St NE Atlanta, GA 30309
7000 Church Ranch Boulevard Westminster, CO 80021
The NTP training materials will be available for download on the registration website prior to the workshops. If you would like hard copies, please download and print. You can also download the materials to your tablet, laptop, or on a USB. NOTE: Registration requests will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis until each meeting reaches capacity. The number of attendees from the same organization may be limited.
Please send all correspondence to: