Eldercare Workforce Alliance
April 11, 2018, marked the 10th anniversary of the Institute of Medicine's report Retooling for an Aging America: Building the Health Care Workforce. In recognition of this anniversary, the Eldercare Workforce Alliance, of which NASW is a member, is leading the campaign #TogetherWeCare—Advancing a Well-Trained Workforce to Care for Us as We Age. This yearlong campaign will examine progress since the 2008 report and identify solutions to address workforce needs.
The Improving Access to Mental Health Act (S. 2613/H.R. 1290) enhances beneficiaries' access to mental health services in three ways: (1) restores clinical social workers’ ability to receive Medicare Part B reimbursement for psychotherapeutic services provided on an independent basis to beneficiaries who concurrently receive skilled nursing facility benefits under Medicare Part A; (2) enables clinical social workers to receive Medicare Part B reimbursement for Health and Behavior Assessment and Intervention (HBAI) services; and (3) increases the Medicare reimbursement rate from 75 to 85% of the physician fee schedule, thereby attracting even more clinical social workers to participate in Medicare. Read NASW's list of frequently asked questions to learn more about the Improving Access to Mental Health Act and urge your members of Congress to cosponsor S. 2613/H.R. 1290.
March is Social Work Month, and this year’s theme is Social Workers: Leaders. Advocates. Champions. Watch NASW's public service announcement and find other NASW resources to celebrate Social Work Month 2018. Register for the March 20 Social Work Student Advocacy Day or for the March 21 Social Work Day on the Hill, organized by the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy with assistance from NASW.
H.R. 3713 establishes formal funding for the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program (GWEP), the only federally funded program to enhance workforce capacity in aging. The bill also reestablishes the Geriatric Academic Career Awards (GACA) program, a previously funded program for developing academic clinical educators specializing in aging. All social work practitioners and students are eligible for training through GWEP (available at 44 sites in 29 states), and clinical social workers are eligible for GACA. The Eldercare Workforce Alliance (EWA), of which NASW is a member, worked with Representatives Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), Doris Matsui (D-CA), and David B. McKinley (R-WV) to introduce the bill. Read NASW's letter of support to the original bill sponsors and send an e-mail today to urge your Congressional representative to support H.R. 3713.
In January 2018 the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (H.R. 3759) was passed by Congress and signed into law (P.L. 115-119). This bipartisan legislation, which was supported by NASW since its introduction in 2015, requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a national strategy to support the nation’s 40 million family caregivers. The bill also creates a Family Caregiving Advisory Council to advise HHS on the strategy; this council will include various stakeholders, such as family caregivers, individuals with disabilities, older adults who use long-term services and supports, health and social service providers, employers, and state and local officials.
George Washington University Health Workforce Institute
Download the recently released report Profile of the Social Work Workforce for an analysis of existing data sources. The report is the first product of on a study conducted by the George Washington University Health Workforce Institute on behalf of NASW, CSWE, and other national social work associations. A report on recent social work graduates will be released soon.
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