Monday, May 19, 2014

What Is The Chapter Doing About Raising Salaries & Reimbursement Rates

On the minds of many NASW members is the totally understandable (and perhaps not so polite) question: 

"What Is NASW Doing to Raise Reimbursement Rates from Insurers 
and Salaries from Employers?"  

I say thank you for asking!  The Chapter is committed to acting on several fronts to improve rates:

1.   On the federal level, the Massachusetts Chapter is leading the way with the executive directors of other NASW Chapters across the country to work with National NASW on lobbying CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) to raise the reimbursement rates for clinical services to 100% of what psychologists and psychiatrists receive for providing the same clinical service.  Right now, LICSWs receive 75% of what psychologists receive.  It is not right and we will continually advocate until we get parity.

2.   On the state level, NASW is:
a.   Working with our partners in the Mental Health Coalition, particularly, the Association for Behavioral Health (ABH) to lobby for hiring rates for agencies providing clinical services;
b.   Consulting with MA Health, which contracts with agencies to provide clinical  services;
c.   Bringing to the heads of the MCOs, the insurance companies, the HMOs and the Group Insurance Commission the need to increase reimbursement rates to social workers who provide the bulk of mental health services;
d.   Lobbying for loan forgiveness for social workers, which will give relief to new professionals such that they are more likely to remain in the profession rather than leave for more lucrative positions; and
e.   Discussing with SEIU Local 509 the options available for some form of partnership around lobbying for increased reimbursement rates.

These are just a sampling of the advocacy steps the Chapter is taking to increase the salaries and reimbursement rates for social workers.  I welcome your ideas and your input for other opportunities.

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