Matthew Cohen, MSW

Matthew Cohen, MSW

Social Justice Solutions | Staff Writer
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NASW Announces Major Changes For Clinical Social Work In 2013

I was just going to report the changes that were published and head off to class, but something got under my skin. For anyone who follows me specifically, this will not be something, new. Two out of the three changes had to do with reimbursement for services. Now the third change is the release of the DSM V, this is very important in it’s own right, but still, reimbursement machines  is that what social workers have become.

Change 1) “The psychiatric Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes are expected to change January 1, 2013. Clinical social workers use CPT codes to identify services/procedures performed when seeking reimbursement.”

Change 2) “The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) will subject clinical social workers and other health care professionals who are Medicare providers to a 1.5 percent penalty fee in 2015 if they do not use measures when performing services to Medicare patients during the year of 2013.”

Two out of the three major changes for clinical social work in 2013 have nothing to do with clinical treatment. There is something wrong with that. Social workers have become middle men and woman for a broken system that has been captured by an Oligarchical healthcare empire. Co-pays go up, our jobs become unnecessarily complicated by rules and regulations we never agreed to, and the NASW just release this as if this is not a major issue for the field. I am not NASW bashing, they do a great job, but there is something wrong here. Social Work is too far removed from the seats of power that dictate the means by which social work is administered.


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