April 2023 Chapter Update
Thank you for your membership with NASW. Take a look at our upcoming chapter events in April 2023. Read more about volunteering for the Chapter Board, Legislative Updates and Action Alerts, and more. Click here for more information about opportunities to serve, or send an email to info.naswwa@socialworkers.org.

Jeremy Arp, MSW, ACSW
Executive Director, NASW-WA
Last Call for Chapter Board Nominations!

The NASW-WA Chapter seeks members to serve on our Chapter Board:
Eastern WA Regional Representative
Western WA Regional Representative
MSW Student Representative
BSW Student Representative
VP of Budget and Finance

In addition to Board positions, we have additional opportunities, including:
Membership Engagement Committee
Chapter Ethics Committee
Legislative Action Committee
and more!

Take a moment to review the open positions here. Please submit your Board nomination by April 15, 2023! We look forward to hearing from you!
Enhancing Your Communication About Aging

March was Social Work Month, and the 2023 theme was Social Work Breaks Barriers. More than 700,000 social workers nationwide entered the profession because they have a commitment to making our communities, our country, and our world a better place for all. During Social Work Month, NASW is spearheading efforts to increase public awareness about how social workers continue to break barriers in all communities, and how the contributions of this essential profession improve our nation.

The National Center to Reframe Aging is dedicated to ending ageism by advancing an equitable and complete story about aging in America. The center is the trusted source for proven communication strategies and tools to effectively frame aging issues. It is the nation’s leading organization cultivating an active community of individuals and organizations to spread awareness of implicit bias against older people and influence policies and programs that benefit all of us as we age.

NASW and the National Center have collaborated to bring you these tips on how social workers can integrate effective framing about aging in our work (read more here). 
Medicare Advantage, Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage, & PACE: Summary of NASW’s Comments on a Proposed Rule for 2024
By Chris Herman, MSW, LICSW Senior Practice Associate–Aging

In December 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule (CMS–4201–P) addressing a few parts of the Medicare program: Part C, Medicare Advantage (MA); Part D prescription drug benefit; and the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). The proposed regulations, if finalized, will be implemented on January 1, 2024.

NASW submitted comments on the proposed rule in February 2023. The association’s comments addressed numerous topics, a few of which are summarized briefly in this Tips & Tools publication.
Legislative Updates

State Update

The LAC continues advocacy work during the legislative session.

NASW-WA supports HB 1724 - increasing the trained behavioral health workforce. HB 1724 proposes enhancing Washington’s behavioral health workforce by aligning social work experience hours required for professional licensure with national standards and other behavioral health professions in Washington (and includes the provisions from HB 1021 which decrease the experience hours requirement for associate social work licensees working towards full licensure). The bill creates a program to help associate behavioral health licensees secure clinical supervision and a stipend program to cover out-of-pocket costs incurred by associate licensees completing supervised experience requirements.

The Chapter supports the bill as it left the House. The bill was amended in the Senate to include provisions related to agency affiliated counselors, including an expanded scope of practice. We will continue to advocate for the bill and ask our legislators to not add the Senate amendments.

National Update

The Improving Access to Mental Health Act is much-needed legislation focused on increasing Medicare reimbursement rates for Clinical Social Workers (CSWs) and ensuring access to CSW services by Medicare beneficiaries. This important legislation has now been introduced in both chambers of Congress.

S. 838/H.R. 1638 will:

  • Increase Medicare Reimbursement Rates for CSWs: The bill provides a long overdue Medicare reimbursement increase for CSWs, thus assuring their ability to provide much needed services for Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Increase Access to CSW Services for Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Residents: Currently, independent CSWs whom the SNF does not employ are unable to seek reimbursement under Medicare Part B for providing psychotherapy services to SNF residents receiving care under Medicare Part A. This legislation will rectify this problem by excluding CSW services from SNF consolidated billing.
  • Provide Access to CSW Services that Help Medicare Beneficiaries Who are Coping with Physical Health Conditions: Although Health and Behavior Assessment and Intervention (HBAI) services are within the scope of practice for CSWs, Medicare currently will not reimburse CSWs for providing these services. HBAI services are cognitive, behavioral, social, and psychophysiological interventions to prevent, treat, and improve physical health and well-being. S. 838/H.R. 1638 would broaden the definition of CSW services to enable CSWs to receive Medicare reimbursement for HBAI services.

Seattle/King County Clinic – Seeking Social Workers!

The next Seattle/King County Clinic will be held April 27 – 30, 2023 and will offer dental, vision and medical care. Between 2014 and 2022, 23,000 volunteers helped to provide more than $20M in care to 24,000 patients. The organizers are still looking for social workers and health insurance navigators to volunteer for the event.

Find out more about the opportunity to serve and make a difference at https://seattlecenter.org/volunteers/.
Call for Presenters

Are you interested in presenting a workshop for NASW-WA? We have an open call for presenters (live, virtual, or recorded).

Chapter Classifieds

NASW-WA offers a space on our website for text-only classified ads. Go to: https://www.nasw-wa.org/classifieds.

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