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The National Voice of Clinical Social Work 

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CSWA - LEGISLATIVE ALERT - Message to CMS about Medicare Cuts - 9-24-20

24 Sep 2020 9:27 PM | CSWA Administrator (Administrator)


On September 16, you should have received a Legislative Alert to members of Congress regarding the proposed cut to Medicare reimbursement for LCSWs scheduled for January 1, 2021 ( copied below).  Many thanks to the hundreds of members who have sent these messages.  If you have not done so, it is not too late.  While the issue of Medicare cuts is being opposed in the House through Rep. Rush’s letter, it is fine to send your message to Senators as well.  All messages must be sent by October 5, 2020.

Now I am asking you to send another message directly to CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), the organization that oversees reimbursement rates for all Medicare providers, including LCSWs.  Both messages are necessary to make our position on this issue clear by October 5, 2020.  Send the following message (use your own words if you like) to the following link: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/08/17/2020-17127/medicare-program-cy-2021-payment-policies-under-the-physician-fee-schedule-and-other-changes-to-part

“I am a Medicare provider [if you are] and wish to express my concern about the proposed rate reduction for Clinical Social Workers set to begin on January 1, 2021.  Clinical Social Workers are already paid 25% less than other mental health providers for the same CPT Codes as other mental health providers. Though some psychotherapy CPT codes have increased, the 10.6% cut will result in a net reduction of about 7%.  My fixed costs have not changed and I cannot afford this reduction in my fees for my mental health services.

The onslaught of COVID-19 has increased the need for mental health services.  Please make it possible for me to continue to provide them by eliminating the proposed Medicare reimbursement cut.”

As always, let me know when you have sent both messages at lwgroshong@clinicalsocialworkassociation.org.  Thanks for your help.

Laura Groshong, LICSW, Director, Policy and Practice, Government Relations Chair 
Clinical Social Work Association
The National Voice of Clinical Social Work

Strengthening IDENTITY | Preserving INTEGRITY | Advocating PARITY

September 16,2020

There is a proposed cut to Medicare reimbursement for many health care providers, including LCSWs, scheduled for January 1, 2021.  This 7% cut is connected to Evaluation and Management services, for diagnostic and treatment services that LCSWs provide.  It is imperative that all LCSWs contact their members of Congress as soon as possible to let them know how damaging this would be for LCSWs.

We are fortunate to have the support of Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) and 93 members of Congress in stopping this cut.  Please check the letter they wrote to Congressional leadership at - https://rush.house.gov/sites/rush.house.gov/files/documents/Letter%20to%20Leadership%20on%20EM%20Code%20Cuts%20General.pdf  and thank your legislator if he or she signed on.

Even if you are not a Medicare clinician, please send the following message to your members of Congress at https://www.contactingcongress.org:

“I am a member of the Clinical Social Work Association, a Medicare provider [if you are], and a constituent.  Maintaining budget neutrality on the backs of clinical social workers and other mental health providers is a burden that I will not be able to bear.  I am already paid 25% less than other mental health providers for the same diagnostic and treatment services as other mental health providers.  My fixed costs have not changed. The onslaught of COVID-19 has increased the need for mental health services.  Please make it possible for me to continue to provide them by eliminating the proposed Medicare reimbursement cut.”

As always, let me know when you have sent your messages at lwgroshong@clinicalsocialworkassociation.org

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Garrisonville, Virginia  22463

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