Urge Key Lawmakers on Committees of Jurisdiction to Cosponsor:
Improving Access to Mental Health Act (S. 782/H.R. 1533)
The Improving Access to Mental Health Act will provide a crucial step forward in mental health care for millions of Medicare beneficiaries and in advancing pay equity for social workers. Since one or more of your lawmakers is on a key committee of jurisdiction, it is imperative that you let them know you urge their support for this legislation.
Once enacted, S. 782/H.R. 1533 will:
- Help ensure skilled nursing facility (SNF) residents' access to mental health services by allowing clinical social workers (CSWs) to bill Medicare Part B.
- Provide Medicare beneficiaries' access to Health and Behavior Assessment and Intervention (HBAI) services in the event of a psychosocial concern arising due to a medical condition, by allowing CSWs to bill Medicare for these services; and
- Increase reimbursement rates for CSWs from 75% to 85% of the physician fee schedule, putting CSWs on par with other non-physician health care providers.
The vast majority of Medicare beneficiaries in SNFs experience anxiety, depression and other challenges. Millions of these beneficiaries also live with physical or medical conditions which give rise to similar challenges. This legislation will enable CSWs to be reimbursed by Medicare to provide much-needed services to these beneficiaries.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is the lead sponsor in the Senate. She is joined by lead cosponsor, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and cosponsor Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-13) is the lead sponsor in the House. There are currently 19 cosponsors on H.R. 1533; they are listed below by state:
- Rep. Sewell, Terri A. [D-AL-7]
- Rep. Grijalva, Raul M. [D-AZ-3]
- Rep. Hill, Katie [D-CA-25]
- Rep. Soto, Darren [D-FL-9]
- Rep. Bishop, Sanford D., Jr. [D-GA-2]
- Rep. Johnson, Henry C. "Hank," Jr. [D-GA-4]
- Rep. Lewis, John [D-GA-5]
- Rep. Schakowsky, Janice D. [D-IL-9]
- Rep. McCollum, Betty [D-MN-4]
- Rep. Watson Coleman, Bonnie [D-NJ-12]
- Rep. Clarke, Yvette D. [D-NY-9]
- Rep. Serrano, Jose E. [D-NY-15]
- Rep. Kaptur, Marcy [D-OH-9]
- Rep. DeFazio, Peter A. [D-OR-4]
- Rep. Evans, Dwight [D-PA-3]
- Rep. Scanlon, Mary Gay [D-PA-5]
- Rep. Wild, Susan [D-PA-7]
- Rep. Kilmer, Derek [D-WA-6]
- Rep. Pocan, Mark [D-WI-2]
Please join us in supporting this legislation by contacting your Member of Congress TODAY and urging them to cosponsor S. 782/H.R. 1533 the Improving Access to Mental Health Act. Tell your elected officials about your experience as a CSW. A personalized communication goes a long way with a Member of Congress. Help them to understand the importance of client access to mental health care services and of social worker reimbursement and compensation. Together we can help ensure clients have full access to the high-quality mental health services CSWs provide.
Congressional Black Caucus & Mental Health Professionals Seek to Address Racial Disparities in Access to Behavioral Health
Takia Richardson LICSW, LCSW
Aug 22, 2019
For several years, suicide has remained among the top 10 causes of death for ages 10 through 44. Data from the National Center for
Health Statistics’ Suicide Mortality in the United States, 1999–2017 brief indicates that suicide rates in the United States increased by
33 percent during that review period (Hedegaard, Curtin, & Warner, 2018).
Read More ...
The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2019: Taking it to the U.S. Senate
Toolkit for Engaging with Your Lawmakers In Person During the August Recess NASW and its coalition partners, the National Task Force to End Sexual & Domestic Violence & the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence encourages NASW members to contact their Senators during the August recess. Here is a toolkit to assist you in taking action.
NASW MS Chapter Response To Immigration Raids Tuesday, August 6, 2019
NASW MS is saddened, disappointed, and outraged by the raids
that disrupted the lives of 684 families. We stand with our immigrant community
who like many of us sent their children to school, went to work, and eagerly
anticipated the end of their workday so they could return home and hear about
their child’s first day. To read the full response from the NASW, Mississippi Board of Directors,
click here .
NASW responds to mass shootings in El Paso, Dayton
The frequency and lethality of these acts of violence is an unbearable national outrage that must end.
Read the news release
THOUGHTS REGARDING RECENT SHOOTINGS…..from the NASW, MS Executive Director, Janice Sandefur
I am reflecting on my shock, anger and horror at the mass shootings that took place over the weekend in El Paso and Dayton. The media has reported that the El Paso shooter, in his White Supremacist manifesto against immigrants from Mexico, released shortly before the shooting, used similar language as President Trump has used in speeches and tweets. It is my understanding that assault weapons were used in both mass shootings. As of August 4, the United States has had 250 mass shootings this year, including one in Southaven, MS. No other industrialized country in the world experiences this level of domestic terrorism.
To read Janice's this in it's entirety and to find contact information for Mississippi's legislatures, click here.