NASW applauds Congress for averting Medicare pay cuts to social workers, other providers
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) commends Congress for passing legislation to avert and delay major Medicare pay cuts to clinical social workers and other providers who participate in Medicare that would have taken effect on January 1. President Biden is expected to sign the legislation into law.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in November issued a final rule on the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), which called for 3.75 percent reimbursement cuts to a number of specialty providers, including clinical social workers. Due to an intense advocacy effort fueled by NASW members and other professional organizations, Congress has passed legislation that offsets most of the proposed cut and delay additional reductions that were looming due to sequestration and other budget requirements.
Without Congressional action, practitioners were facing the 3.75-percent cut plus additional across-the-board reductions totaling an additional 6 percent – for a total of almost 10 percent. This included a 2 percent sequestration cut which has now been delayed until April 2022, when a 1 percent sequestration will be imposed until June 30, 2022, with the required 2 percent cut returning in July and remaining until the sequestration system expires in 2031. Congress’ action also delays implementation of a 4 percent deficit control cut until 2023.
Given the pandemic-related spike in mental health needs among older adults, averting payment cuts to essential health care providers is imperative. NASW will continue to advocate to ensure a strong Medicare program that adequately reimburses clinical social workers.
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.