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Improving Access to Mental Health Act of 2015

15 Oct 2015 3:07 AM | CSWA Administrator (Administrator)

Dear CSWA Affiliated Society Members,

It is time to start supporting the Improving Access to Mental Health Act of 2015, the bills that have recently been created by Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Rep. Barbara Lee.  These bills are being sponsored by CSWA, though the Medicare reimbursement increase requested – 10% – is less than the 25% that CSWA had hoped for.  This is a first step toward the goal of 100% parity with other mental health providers that CSWA still supports.  An improvement in the 75% of other providers is what the Association sees as feasible at this time.

Please send this message to your members of Congress by October 31, 2015.  You can find their email addresses at http://www.contactingthecongress.org/ :

Dear (Sen./Rep.) ________________:

 I am a member of the __________ Society [if you are] and the Clinical Social Work Association [if you are] and a constituent. [If you are in Michigan - Sen. Stabenow's state - or California's 13th District - Rep. Lee's district - please thank them for supporting the bill here.]

 I am [calling/writing] to ask for your support of S. 2173/H.R. 3712, the Improving Access to Mental Health Act of 2015 that will improve access to mental health treatment by increasing the number of licensed clinical social workers who choose to be participating Medicare providers.  The changes that the bills propose are:

  • Increase Medicare reimbursement for LCSW services from 75% to 85% of the physician fee schedule rate.
  • Eliminate restrictions on the delivery of LCSW services for Medicare beneficiaries in skilled nursing facilities and hospitals.
  • Expand the statutory definition of LCSW services to include all psychotherapy services (including Health and Behavior Assessment and Intervention services)

Anticipated cost offsets from lower medical costs should make this fiscal change revenue neutral.  A cost assessment is currently in process. I hope you will consider sponsoring this bill.

Sincerely,

[Name, degree, license]

The CSWA Government Relations Committee is working hard to get sponsors as well but we need your help!  As always, please let me know when you have sent your messages to your members of Congress.

Laura Groshong, LICSW, CSWA Director of Policy and Practice


PO Box 10, Garrisonville, Virginia  22463 | administrator@clinicalsocialworkassociation.org

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