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Legislative Alerts

Under the direction of CSWA's Director of Policy and Practice and Government Relations Chair, Laura Groshong, CSWA is proud to vigilantly monitor all current national legislation that affects clinical social workers and the need for action with members of Congress. In addition, CSWA regularly provides alerts to inform its members about important and relevant legislation and regulations that have been introduced at the national level. The list of Legislative Alerts listed below allows members to review the history of CSWA's action on national bills in Congress, and the outcomes of those actions.

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  • January 22, 2024 2:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Aware Advocate

    A Quarterly Summary of Information Affecting LCSWs

    January 2024

    by Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice

    There is a lot going on in the world of clinical social work at the moment that I will try to summarize here, some positive, some problematic. Let’s start with the positive:

    Social Work Compact Bills

    There are now 22 states that have bills pending to pass the Social Work Compact. As you know, when 7 states have passed the bill, a Commission will be created by the Council of State Governments (which has overseen the development of the Compact Bill) to oversee the implementation of the Compact. There will be a Commission member from each state that joins the Compact as well as ex officio members from major social work stakeholder groups, including CSWA. Please find out the numbers of the Compact bills being considered in your state, usually HB___ and/or SB___, and ask your legislators to support them. To view additional information on the CSWA website, visit Please let me know if your state passes the Compact!

    “Inseparable” Report

    A relatively new mental health policy organization, Inseparable, published a report last month called “Improving Mental Health Care: The Access Report” which has some excellent information about the percentage of citizens in each state that have a mental health problem and how many actually receive care. To view the report, please visit

    OPTUM “Clawbacks”

    And now for the not so positive news.

    I’ve heard from several members that they have received letters from OPTUM saying that they were overpaid between 2021 and 2023 and need to repay United Health Care the amount that was overpaid. This can amount to thousands of dollars. While OPTUM acknowledges that this was a “systems error” on their part, they still say that LCSWs who were overpaid should have known that they were overpaid and refused to accept the money. Remember that this is a Medicare Advantage plan which is overseen by commercial insurers, in this case, United Health Care, and not Medicare, which is a public plan. Commercial plans are overseen by either Department of Labor (ERISA or self-insured plans) or state insurance commissioners, if the plan is not an ERISA plan.

    Here are some ways that you may choose to respond to this letter:

    1. Find out if the plan is an ERISA plan or a commercial plan.
    2. Check the insurance rules in your state and see whether there are any rules about how long insurers have to request LCSWs to pay back funds that they were not entitled to. If the request has exceeded the request, file a complaint with the insurance commissioner.
    3. Hire an attorney to file a cease-and-desist letter to OPTUM/United, explaining that this was their error, not yours, and you should not have to repay the funds you were paid.
    Let me know if you receive any responses regarding this situation.

  • December 04, 2023 8:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The final rule for the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) in 2024 has been issued and will go into effect on January 1, 2024. This link is to the complete Summary:

    Please find a list of the changes that will affect clinical social workers below.

    Physician Fee Schedule Changes

    New codes:

    • CPT 0591T-0593T will now be available for “health and well-being coaching services” on a temporary basis.
    • HCPCS G0136 will now be available for Social Determinants of Health Risk Assessment (SDOH) permanently.

    Telemental Health Services:

    • Telemental health services will continue to be covered through 2024, regardless of where the patient is located.
    • The requirement that patients be seen in person every six months is delayed throughout 2024.
    • The modifier for telemental health services will continue to be “95”.

    Expansion of Behavioral Health Services:

    • LMFTs and LMHCs will be included as mental health providers under Medicare.

    Expansion of Crisis Codes:

    • CPT codes for crisis services, 90839 and 90840, will be covered by Medicare regardless of the location of the patient.

    New Codes for LCSWs:

    • Health Behavior Assessment and Intervention (HBAI) services will now be covered for LCSWs by Medicare using CPT codes 96156, 96158, 96159, 96164, 96165, 96167, and 96168. These codes are designed to assess the psychological, behavioral, emotional, cognitive, and social factors included in the treatment of physical health problems.

    Change to Relative Value Units (RVUs) for LCSWs:

    • Over the next four years there will be an increase in payment for in-office psychotherapy, to be determined.

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice  
    Clinical Social Work Association

  • September 26, 2023 12:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Please take a moment to submit a comment on the proposed rule to make the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act more enforceable. You may use the template below or write your own. Comments are due on October 2, 2023.

    To read the document visit

    To submit a comment visit


    Subject: Re: 0938-AU93 1210-AC11 1545-BQ29 Requirements Related to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

    Dear Secretary Becerra, Assistant Secretary Gomez, and Deputy Commissioner O’Donnell;

    Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Requirements Related to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) proposed rule. I write as a licensed clinical social worker who has noticed increased difficulty for patients to find coverage for mental health and substance use (MH/SUD) treatment.

    It is quite unfair that mental health and substance use treatment is still not covered at parity with medical/surgical care after the initial rules for the 2008 MHPAEA were delayed until 2014 and are still not covered at parity almost 10 years later.

    Please finalize the following specific proposals WITHOUT EXCEPTION:

    • Requiring health plans to prove their MH/SUD parity compliance by showing the effect the limits they place on benefits have on a person’s access to treatment;

    • Evaluating the health plan’s provider network, including how long the wait times are; how often consumers must seek out-of-network providers; how much a plan pays providers; how often prior authorization is required for services a practitioner prescribes; and how often prior authorization requests are denied; and

    • Imposing strong consequences when a plan is found to be out of compliance with the parity requirements, including barring them from imposing the plan requirement. 

    We urge the Departments to consider penalties when plans ignore these consequences.

    Please make these changes to eliminate barriers to care and ensure that everyone has the same access to mental health and substance use benefits as they do physical health benefits.

    Thank you again for the opportunity to comment.

    As always, let me know when you have submitted your comments.

    Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director of Policy and Practice

  • July 12, 2023 2:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Social Work Compact Update - July 12, 2023

    Good news! On July 7th, 2023, Governor Mike Parson signed Senate Bill 670 and Senate Bill 157 making Missouri the first state to enact the Social Work Licensure Compact. This is a milestone development in supporting the mobility of licensed social workers.

    SB 670 was sponsored by Senator Travis Fitzpatrick and Senator Lauren Arthur, and SB 157 was sponsored by Senator Rusty Black.

    The Social Work Licensure Compact seeks to increase public access to social work services, provide licensees with opportunities for multistate practice, support relocating military families, and allow for expanded use of telehealth technologies. Currently, the model compact legislation is available for other states to introduce and enact like Missouri. Thus far there have been nine other states that have introduced: Utah, Kentucky, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Ohio.

    How is the Social Work Compact progressing in your state?

    If you have not reached out to your legislators to let them know about the Compact, please start the process now. You can find the materials to use at  

    Please let me know when you have 1) a pending or passed bill in your state, 2) a legislator who is willing to sponsor the bill, 3) if you need assistance in finding a legislator to sponsor the Compact bill, and/or 4) have talked to NASW about working together to get the Compact going.  

    Let me know when you have any information on the above issues.  

    Many thanks,  

    Laura Groshong, LICSW, CSWA Director of Policy and Practice

  • June 29, 2023 11:26 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Aware Advocate - Legislative Alerts

    June 29, 2023

    by Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice

    Here are two issues which I hope you will all address with your members of Congress and your state legislature.

    For Members of Congress:

    • H.R. 2474 is a bill which would improve Medicare reimbursement rates by using the rate of inflation as the way to adjust reimbursement each year instead of the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) which does not use inflation as a factor. 
    • H.R. 2474 would also tie reimbursement to the Medicare Economic Index which is based on provider expenses and other economic trends.
    • Medicare rates have not increased since 2001, making payments 26% lower today than they were then, when adjusting for inflation. This is one of the major reasons that LCSWs are opting out as Medicare providers. There is a freeze on updated reimbursement until 2026.
    • Though this is a House bill, please let your Senators know as well.  You can contact them all at Here is a message you can use or change it to use your own words: “I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a constituent. Please support H.R. 2474 which will make Medicare reimbursement more equitable for mental health services. Reimbursement rates have not increased since 2001 and are therefore 26% less when adjusted for inflation. LCSWs are opting out as Medicare providers, leaving vulnerable beneficiaries without adequate mental health services. Thank you for your support.”

    For State Legislatures:

    • The Social Work Compact is now available to be passed by state legislatures. There are 10 states which have begun the process of getting the bill passed; Missouri has already passed the bill. We need six more states to create the Commission to oversee the Compact. 
    • Here is a map of the 26 states that have passed the Counselor Compact, These states should be open to passing the Social Work Compact as well.
    • For more information on how to make your state legislators aware of the Social Work Compact, go to the CSWA website at

    Please let me know when you have sent messages to Congress and members of your state legislatures. Thanks for your help.

    Contact: Laura Groshong, LICSW, CSWA Director of Policy and Practice at

  • November 30, 2022 2:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Here is an urgent Legislative Alert to get coverage for telemental health before the end of the year. CSWA is concerned that coverage of telemental health may not be continued after the end of the Public Health Emergency.

    Please send this message to your legislators BY TOMORROW, December 1, 2022, when the final legislative packages will be put in place, at

    “I am a member of the Clinical Social Work Association and a constituent. Please include permanent coverage of mental health services provided by videoconferencing or "audio only" after the end of the Public Health Emergency. Many patients who depend on these services will be harmed if this coverage is removed.“

    As always, let me know when you have sent your messages.

    Many thanks,

    Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice  
    Clinical Social Work Association

  • August 04, 2022 10:26 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Update on CareDash

    Here is an update on the CareDash/BetterHelp fiasco. Many members complained to CareDash and received the following form letter:

    Sarah (CareDash)

    Aug 2, 2022, 15:43 ADT


    Thanks for reaching out to CareDash! As a mental health provider, we understand your concerns regarding the importance of protecting your privacy and would be happy to help remove any personal information. We permit the redaction of a personal phone number or address and can flag profiles as retired or deceased, as needed. However, CareDash's policy is not to remove a profile since this information is of the interest to the general public.

    While we provide information on healthcare providers and practices by aggregating information from various public sources, such as the NPI Registry, it is most important to us that you and your practice are appropriately represented on CareDash. The information disclosed on the NPI Registry are FOIA-disclosable and are required to be disclosed under the FOIA and the eFOIA amendments to the FOIA. There is no way to 'opt out' or 'suppress' the NPPES record data for health care providers with active NPIs.

    We'd be happy to help you update your profile to ensure you and your practice are appropriately represented on CareDash. We permit the redaction of a personal phone number or address and can flag profiles as retired or deceased, as needed.

    We've created this guide on how you can protect your privacy: At CareDash, we're deeply committed to protecting the privacy of providers and keeping our data accurate, so please let us know if we may be misrepresenting you or your practice in any way in order for us to correct it immediately. The easiest way to ensure your data stays up-to-date is for you to take control of your profile by claiming and updating it on CareDash. Please follow the simple instructions here:

    Lastly, please visit the NPI Registry to edit the source of the public information we use: Many sites use this data and you may have accidentally placed personal information when registering for your NPI. Our team will periodically update our data to match what's in the NPI Registry if you choose not to claim and update your profile today. Please check back in a few weeks for your changes to be in effect.

    Kind Regards,

    Sarah B.

    CSWA regards this letter as disingenuous, since the issue is not just where CareDash found all our information, the NPI list, but how they are using it to restrict access to our services. CSWA has also discovered that CareDash is connected to Teledoc and Nufit Media, which we are looking into.

    Several members suggested that CSWA consider filing lawsuits against CareDash. We are exploring this possibility with attorneys, are examining what the legal issue or issues might be (restraint of trade, kickbacks, possibly) and are determining the feasibility of filing a lawsuit (class action, through attorneys general, etc.). In addition, we are working with PsiAN to send a letter to the FTC.

    Several members have reported that they sent letters to NPR and other groups that use BetterHelp as a sponsor objecting to the policies of CareDash and BetterHelp.

    Please continue to send your individual letters to your state attorney general and the FTC about your objections to CareDash and BetterHelp policies. They have already made a difference in Maryland where the consumer protection department at first refused to look into the situation but changed its mind after a flood of complaints.

    I will be sending weekly updates about the progress being made and/or new actions to be taken. Thanks to the over 300 members who let me know they have sent messages on the subject. Please continue to let me know if you have done so.

    I also urge you to join the discussion in the comments at this link.

    Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice  
    Clinical Social Work Association

  • July 30, 2022 9:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    LCSWs at Risk: CareDash and BetterHelp

    CSWA would like to call to your attention a duplicitous practice which a company called CareDash is engaging in. CareDash has partnered with BetterHelp to drive potential patients to CareDash or BetterHelp affiliated therapists. It has gathered information about thousands of LCSWs and other clinicians to direct them to CareDash or BetterHelp affiliated clinicians without the permission of the non-affiliated LCSWs listed.

    If the LCSW is not affiliated with BetterHelp, CareDash will say that there is no way to connect with them through CareDash, without directing them to the website of the LCSW, or noting that this is an active licensed clinical social worker. CareDash receives a commission for all patients referred to BetterHelp.

    CareDash also has its own list of LCSWs which they will only use for referrals if an LSCW affiliates with them. These practices could significantly reduce the ability of patients in gaining access to LCSWs who are not connected to CareDash or BetterHelp. Please note that if you are not on the CareDash list, patients will be directed to BetterHelp. CareDash at this point refuses to take anyone off their list who is not officially connected with them or BetterHelp.

    There is little doubt that the CareDash list has been compiled from public lists such as NPI, insurers, and others, then made to look as if the LCSWs listed are not being artificially limited by CareDash.

    Here is what CareDash said about me:


    Laura W. Groshong LICSW (she/her) is a clinical social worker in Seattle, WA.

    For new and existing patients, please see recommendations on how to schedule an appointment with Laura Groshong online. As a clinical social worker, she may specialize in Anger Management and Anxiety, in addition to other issues.

    Laura Groshong got her license to practice in Washington.

    If you want to see Laura Groshong, please contact her to book an appointment. You can also see how she compares to other clinical social workers in Seattle or get matched to an online therapy provider.

    When anyone clicks on “schedule an appointment” or “book an appointment” they get the following message: “Laura Groshong has not provided a way to schedule online through CareDash. However, you could get connected with an online therapist or chat with our virtual assistant to get help finding a therapist.” There are then over 1000 mental health clinicians listed as “the best” clinicians in the Seattle area, all sponsored by BetterHelp, many of which offer 20% discounts for the first month.

    Here is what CSWA recommends each member do to protect your practice:

    1. Go to and see if you are listed as a member. Unless you are working for BetterHelp and want to remain on the CareDash list, send a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission at You will need the CareDash corporate address which is 614 Massachusetts Ave., Ste 400, Cambridge, MA 02139, and the BetterHelp corporate address which is 990 Villa Street, Mountain View, CA 94041.

    2. You may also file a complaint with your state attorney general consumer protection department. To find the location of your state’s consumer protection department go to .

    3. A template for sending a complaint is found below:

    I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker writing to inform you that a company, CareDash, is unfairly restricting my practice as a clinical social worker. They have listed my professional information on their website without my permission and refer anyone who checks my name to another company, BetterHelp, or to their own list of clinicians. I do not wish to work with CareDash or BetterHelp. CareDash refuses to take my name off their list, claiming it is public information. Thus, CareDash is falsely marketing my services to generate online traffic for BetterHelp or itself, ultimately resulting in the selection of BetterHelp’s participating providers or its own, rather than me. This is a restriction of trade that should be stopped immediately.

    CSWA encourages all members and affiliated societies to file complaints with the appropriate state and/or national organizations. Please let me know when you have done so.

    Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice  
    Clinical Social Work Association

  • July 29, 2022 10:11 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    A bill passed the House yesterday which would allow Medicare to cover LCSWs and other mental health professionals for telemental health services until 2024, including audio only treatment. Additionally, the requirement that patients be seen in person every six months was eliminated. The vote was 416-12.

    This is a huge win for CSWA, clinical social work, and all of the groups in the Mental Health Liaison Group that worked to get this bill passed. The bill now goes to the Senate where it is likely to pass, as long as it is brought to a vote.

    All CSWA members should send the following message to their senators at “I am a member of the Clinical Social Work Association and a constituent. Please ask Speaker Schumer to bring HR. 4040, The Advancing Telehealth Beyond Covid-19 Act of 2021, to a vote. Many patients struggling with mental health problems will be unable to get the help they need unless this bill is passed by the Senate. Thanks for your support on H.R. 4040.”

    As always, please let me know when you have sent your messages.

    Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice  
    Clinical Social Work Association

  • June 14, 2022 1:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    [The Aware Advocate is an occasional newsletter sent to members with information that is relevant to Licensed Clinical Social Workers ~LWG]

    This episode of The Aware Advocate will focus on POS Codes for Medicare; Public Health Emergency extension; and the Social Work Compact development.

    POS Codes for Medicare

    There remains a lot of confusion about which POS codes should be used for Medicare.  Here is a reminder of what Medicare and other insurers are requiring for claims:

    • POS “11” should be used until the end of the Public Health Emergency, timing of which is currently the end of 2022, even though this POS “11” is for office visits.
    • POS “10” was made “available” for LCSWs for telemental health treatment as of April 4; however, there is a rate cut for those who have used POS “10” so using POS “11” is a better option.
    • POS “10” will be required for telemental health when the Public Health Emergency ends, currently the end of 2022.
    • Check with YOUR Medicare Administrative Contractor to clarify which POS code is being accepted currently if the patient is being seen through telemental health in their home.
    • You can find your MAC contact information at the CSWA website under “Clinical Practice”.
    • If a patient is seen in their car, the POS code should be “02”, but POS “11” is also acceptable. 
    • The Medicare Modifier for all POS codes is still 95. This may seem counterintuitive as 95 is supposed to be for telemental health, but it is the only combination that currently works.

    Be sure to check with EACH private insurer for a patient to find out what combination of POS and Modifier are being requested so that claims will not be denied.

    Public Health Emergency

    The Public Health Emergency is predicted to be in effect until the end of 2022, possibly longer.  I will be keeping you informed on any changes that take place which may affect Medicare coverage and commercial insurance.

    Social Work Compact

    As you know, CSWA began working as part of the Technical Assistance Group (TAG) in October of 2021, along with representatives from ASWB, NASW, CSWE, and Department of Defense and the Council of State Governments to create a Social Work Compact.  The latter two groups listed are funding the effort to create a compact for clinical social workers that would allow us to work in any state that has joined the Compact.  The process for creating the Compact is as follows:

    • States will join the Compact by passing legislation through the state legislatures after the draft legislation is approved by DoD and CSG
    • The draft legislation will be open for public comment some time this summer. I will let you know how to access the draft and send in your comments when it is available
    • The draft will likely go out to states in late 2022 or early 2023

    Once the process is moving forward, we will need to have a legislative campaign to pass the Compact in as many states as possible.  I will be sending materials to help you make the case for the Compact in your state.

    Let me know if you have any questions about any of these issues.

    Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice

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