In This Issue | December 2023
To the Members of the Greater Washington Society for Clinical Social Work,
During this holiday season, I want to extend wishes for a Happy Hanukkah, A Merry Christmas, A Happy Kwanzaa, and A Happy Bodhi Day. As we begin to look towards the New Year, I reflect on the year that was. Members gathered to meet and mingle at the Membership Cocktail Party on September 10. This was one of what I hope will be many events where we come together in person in 2024 to renew the bond of human kindness. The 2023 Legislation & Advocacy Brunch was held on September 9 at Maggiano’s Little Italy where attendees received an in-depth training on the Social Work Compact and answered the call to advocate for its passage by contacting their state legislators and Boards of Social Work. On October 7, the Social Justice and Education Branch presented speaker Candace Oglesby on Healing Racial Trauma. A Communications Workgroup was established to examine membership concerns related to transparency, and improved communication. The new year brings even more training and workshop opportunities for members, including the biennial ethics workshop featuring Frederic G. Reamer, PhD. The Society continues to move forward on the continuum of Anti-racism and Social Justice. I encourage everyone to take part in the events of next year, including two Town Hall meetings, and numerous training opportunities.
In what is one of the most joyous times of the year, it is no secret to any of us that the world is in a moment of global turmoil, we are all experiencing in some form. During moments like these, we seek to find remedies in any and all ways that we know how. I again encourage everyone to practice some self-care and take time to do things and be with those that make us happy and whole. I ask that we remember our mission as Social Workers, and the benefits we provide to our clients and others with our knowledge and humanity. Remember that ours is a community of diverse backgrounds sharing in the professional endeavor of Social Work. Let us continue to foster a feeling of connection and the sense that ours is a Society for everyone.
Thank you for your support of me and the Society!
Karla Abney, GWSCSW President
Co-Sponsored with Catholic University
GWSCSW welcomed board representatives from DC, MD, and VA to answer questions about general licenses, clinical licenses, as well as macro options. All three local jurisdictions provided general information for obtaining license in other states/jurisdictions.
The GWSCSW Annual Cocktail Party took place in a beautiful sunny private event room with floor to ceiling picture windows overlooking the North Bethesda skyline. Members were served an assortment of free catered appetizers and ordered their beverage of choice. Fortunately, we had access to Pinstripes outdoor eating area that was perfect for socializing with members on a beautiful day! The event was an ideal opportunity for members to enjoy each other’s company and network professionally.
Karla Abney, our GWSCSW President introduced herself and welcomed members, while Marilyn Stickle received the Frances Thomas Award for Legislative Excellence from Susan Horne.
Our amazing Annual Cocktail Party committee played a major role in planning this fun event, and we genuinely appreciate the member Volunteer support we received for registering the attendees. Finally, without the organizational and financial support from our GWSCSW Board we could not have had this party. We thank everyone for creating a successful event that provided a wonderful social opportunity for our members.
Beverly Magida and Nancy Harris
Beverly Magida and Nancy Harris are resigning as the Co Chairs for the Annual Cocktail Party. Please contact Erika Bugaj if interested in learning more about this volunteer role. Her email is: email@example.com
The first picture below is our GWSCSW Annual Cocktail Committee without one member Catherine Lowry. From left to right: Philip Callahan, Irene Walton, Beverly Magida (Co-chair) and Nancy Harris (co-chair).
Laura Groshong, LICSW, CSWA Director of Policy and Practice
Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule Summary: CY 2024
The final rule for the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) in 2024 has been issued and will go into effect on January 1, 2024. This link is to the complete Summary: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/mm13452-medicare-physician-fee-schedule-final-rule-summary-cy-2024.pdf
Please find a list of the changes that will affect clinical social workers below.
Physician Fee Schedule Changes
Telemental Health Services:
Expansion of Behavioral Health Services:
Expansion of Crisis Codes:
New Codes for LCSWs:
Change to Relative Value Units (RVUs) for LCSWs:
Please let me know if you have any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
Adele Natter, Chair, DC Legislation and Advocacy Committee
In the past few months, we have been lobbying for the Social Work Interstate Compact. If DC signed on to the Compact, the need to have multiple licenses in multiple states would be eliminated. The Board of Social Work has been decidedly cool to the idea, so we initiated a letter-writing campaign to the Chair of the Committee on Health, Cristina Henderson, and City Council members. Meanwhile, the psychologists have Psypact, and a Counseling Compact is going to get a City Council hearing on December 7.
We have been advocating for Group Supervision to count as part of the supervision hours required for LICSW licensure (as Maryland does). The BOSW has been considering the issue and wrote a draft group supervision policy statement that was discussed at the November meeting. The Executive Director, Latrice Herndon, emphasized that supervisees are responsible for maintaining the necessary documentation of their supervision hours: “Your license, your livelihood, your responsibility."
The Pathways to Behavioral Health Degrees Act passed the Council and is on its way to Mayor Bowser’s desk. The bill provides for free tuition and associated expenses for DC residents to get degrees in Social Work or Counseling, after which there is a 2-year work commitment. A Board member questioned the quality of education and career preparation at UDC. The MSW program has not yet been set up.
Having completed the licensing cycle, he Board has begun auditing license applications for such things as lateness and incomplete CEU requirements. The Board is planning to increase fines and assessments for licensing or license application infractions.
Adele Natter, LICSW, Co-Chairs the GWSCSW Legislation & Advocacy Committee for DC.. Adele has been an active participant on the Committee for the past four years; she represented GWSCSW on a Board of Social Work sub-committee, which included NASW and CSWA representatives. Adele maintains a private practice focused on helping individuals with anger and emotional regulation issues. She is also a Clinical Instructor in the Psychiatry Residency Program of the George Washington University Medical School. She holds a BA in Psychology from UCLA and received her MSW from the University of Maryland.
Judy Gallant, Chair, MD Legislation and Advocacy Committee
This report is based, in part, on the multi-page summary of this year’s legislative session from our lobbyists, Pam Metz Kasemeyer, JD and Christine Krone.
As promised, this is a final wrap-up of the bills that came before the MD 2023 Legislature that had the potential to impact our profession and our clients. See the reports in the March and June newsletters for many other bills considered by your Legislation and Advocacy Committee and our lobbyists.
Senate Bill 581 (passed) established the Behavioral Health Value-Based Purchasing Pilot Program, which will pilot person-centered, team-based services designed to assess and meet the needs of behavioral health clients needing to navigate the health- care system. $600,000 in mandated funding for the pilot must be included in the budget for each of the Fiscal Years 2025-2027.
Senate Bill 263/House Bill 573 (passed) establishes an Advisory Committee to study and make recommendations regarding access to mental health services on higher education campuses. The Committee will report its findings to the General Assembly by 12/1/23.
Senate Bill 154 (passed) requires the Department of Health to implement a public awareness campaign to encourage the use of Mental Health Advance Directives in Maryland. The goal is to identify how first responders and behavioral health crisis providers can access an advance directives database when responding to a behavioral health crisis.
Unfortunately, both House Bill 1070, which would have permitted LCSW-Cs to serve as Expert Witnesses, and House Bill 694, which would have permitted LCSW-Cs to be certified by the MD BSWE to register as a rehabilitation practitioner and perform specified services for workers’ compensation purposes, both either failed to pass out of committee (HB 1070) or never received a hearing in the senate (HB 694). Look for similar bills to be introduced in the 2024 Legislative Session.
House Bill 103/Senate Bill 145 (passed) authorizes the MD BSWE to issue a temporary license lasting no more than 180 days if a required exam was unavailable to the applicant for at least 15 days. The applicant must have already met all educational and experience requirements.
THE INTERSECTION OF SOCIAL JUSTICE AND LEGISLATION AND ADVOCACY
The MD Department of Health is working to identify individuals to serve on a legislatively-mandated “Workgroup on Black, Latino, Asian American Pacific Islander and Other Underrepresented Behavioral Health Professionals.” This group was established by HB 97 in 2022 and its effective date was extended one year by HB 615 this past session.
The Workgroup shall:
This is not a bill that the GWSCSW was specifically requested to appoint someone to serve on the Workgroup; however, they are still actively seeking people to serve in three seats that have not yet been filled. Two seats require a representative from an organization, network or association of behavioral health professionals. The third seat needs a representative from a hospital network that primarily serves underrepresented communities.
This is an opportunity to be involved in representing our Society while addressing a social justice issue. Please let Judy Gallant know (email@example.com) if you are interested in serving on this workgroup.
Judy Gallant, LCSW-C, is the director of the Society’s Legislation & Advocacy program, as well as chair of the Maryland Clinical Social Work Coalition, our GWSCSW legislative committee in Maryland. She maintains a private practice in Silver Spring.
Pamela Metz Kasemeyer, JD, as well as the firm of Schwartz, Metz & Wise, PA, represent us in Annapolis and guide our advocacy strategy. Specifically, we have also had the able assistance of Christine Krone during this legislative session. Ms. Kasemeyer is an acknowledged authority on Maryland’s health care and environmental laws and has represented a variety of interests before the Maryland General Assembly and regulatory agencies for more than 25 years.
Wayne Martin, Co-Chair, VA Legislation and Advocacy Committee Co-Chair
The election results in Virginia appear very favorable to Clinical Social Workers and the mental health field. By slim margins in each Legislative house, the Democrats are now in control.
Our top priority remains getting passage of the Social Work Licensure Compact. During the annual Legislative Conference, September 9th, those present heard about the Compact from both our lobbyists and the Legislative Branch Director, Judy Gallant. Information was presented and handouts made available. Now with the Virginia General Assembly elections decided and Democrats in control, it is time to move forward. Out lobbyist, Mark Smith has secured a patron in the Senate to introduce Compact Legislation. The Joint VSCSW and GWSCSW Legislative Committee will begin to meet via zoom to discuss strategies to ensure passage.
This is where the membership will be call upon to get involved by contacting their respective House and Senate members. There are resources available that more fully explain the Compact and you can access the complete text of the compact from there. CSWA has developed some materials that will help with lobbying and can be accessed here. Members of the General Assembly can be most impacted by hearing from you the difference the Compact will make to the citizens of Virginia, your clients, and to our profession.
At this time we do not have a bill number; but once this legislation is introduced members will be asked to make the phone calls. So stand by for further information.
In order to gather information for future legislative action, an insurance survey was sent out to both the VSCSW and the GWSCSW on their respective experiences with insurance companies. The survey is needed to obtain data with how the third parties respond to claims: are they processed correctly? Are they then paid timely? Have providers been audited? Please look for this survey and complete it as directed. It is important. IF you did not receive it or if it is “lost” in your in box, please contact your respective Society’s Admins staff for a link to the survey. Thank you.
The Communications Branch is your way to stay informed about Society happenings including CEU courses, social justice events, Town Halls, networking and social opportunities. We reach out to you via our listserv, our website, social media and the quarterly newsletter.
You can reach out to us to share appreciations and concerns by writing to our Executive Administrator, Donna Dietz who will route your communication to the person or committee with whom you want to communicate. Donna’s email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook. Feel free to have a look, subscribe and drop a “like.” The Board, with guidance of Melanie Hood-Wilson our DEI Consultant, recently revised our listserv guidelines. The Communications Working Group, an important part of our DEI efforts, will be refining the guidelines further as time goes on. The goal is to shift the listserv back to its intended purpose: the sharing of resources. We truly appreciate how Members have responded to the Board’s request to eliminate listserv requests for clinical advice or guidance.
Some Members would like to have a space to discuss clinical matter so the Working Group is looking into the feasibility of creating such a space.
Finally, the Working Group has passed on Members’ concern that Society legislative actions and public statements are sometimes not communicated to Members as quickly as Members would like. The Working Group is exploring how to speed up communication of legislative matters to Members, particularly when Legislative Bills have an extremely short public comment periods.
Lynn Grodzki, LCSW-C, Education Branch Director | Ed Geraty, Education Committee Chair
As the year comes to a close, it’s a good time to review the educational programs we have provided for the society and to alert you to some new changes.
First, the review: We have sponsored over twenty CEU programs in 2023, and according to your evaluations, these are programs that were topics you wanted and offered presenters and material that you appreciated. Our policy is to solicit workshops from members and to go outside of our membership for special topics. To see the list of workshops we offered and those upcoming and available for registration, please go to this link:
Judy Gallant, Chair, MD Legislation and Advocacy Committee
Annual L&A Workshop focused on the Social Work Compact (our Society’s first in-person event since Covid!)
At the beginning of September, the Legislation and Advocacy Branch hosted our 9th annual L&A workshop, where we heard about the current political climate in the nation and in each jurisdiction, with a focus on the Interstate Social Work Compact. Happily, over 50 people attended the brunch at Maggiano’s Little Italy in Chevy Chase, DC.
Judy Gallant gave an overview of the event, and also filled in for Laura Groshong, CSWA Director of Policy and Practice, who was unable to come to the event. Judy presented information about the current status of the Interstate Compact, explained its development by the Council of State Governments, with input from CSWA, NASW, ASWB and others, and discussed the need for 7 state legislatures to pass the Compact into law before an administrative body would be formed by representatives from those states to create a functioning Compact. Judy answered many of the questions our engaged membership asked.
Wayne Martin, our VA L&A Committee chair, introduced Mark Smith, our new Virginia lobbyist. Mark informed us about how the 2023 November election would potentially change the make-up of the legislature, as all legislators are up for election this year. He brings enthusiasm to his new relationship with our Society and let us know he would love to introduce members interested in coming to Richmond to legislators and legislators to us.
Adele Natter discussed the importance of our attendance at the DC Board of Social Work’s monthly meeting and the issues recently discussed, including efforts our members have made to support including group supervision hours to count towards licensing requirements for LICSWs. However, the Board does not appear inclined to support the Interstate Social Work Compact, largely due to the financial impact this would potentially have on DC and the SW Board. A letter writing campaign to DC City Council members was discussed as a potential way to bring more support to passing the Compact in DC.
Our Maryland lobbyist, Christine Krone, discussed the likelihood that Maryland lawmakers will support adoption of the Social Work Compact, but that involvement of our membership during the legislative session will be crucial to getting the bill passed.
Please see individual committee reports and watch your email for ways and the most effective timing for you to become involved in advocating for the Interstate Social Work Compact in your jurisdiction. Here are links to find your state or DC representatives contact information, as well as talking points when appropriate for discussing the Compact with lawmakers, etc.:
Please let your jurisdiction’s committee chair know when you’ve been in touch with a legislator and if there is a response from them. Thank you!
Your help needed in our Legislation & Advocacy Branch!
Parts of meetings of the Board of Social Work in each jurisdiction are open to the public. We encourage members to attend meetings as you are able. Generally, the Boards appreciate feedback from members. Links to information about each jurisdiction’s meetings can be found below.
As always, please contact us with any questions, comments or to join one of the committees. Chair of DC L&A Committee: Adele Natter, email@example.com. Chair of VA L&A Committee: Wayne Martin, firstname.lastname@example.org. Chair of MD L&A Committee and Branch Director, Judy Gallant, email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
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News & Views is published four times a year: March, June, September and December.
News & Views Submission Guidelines
Articles: Focus on your area of expertise and practice, ethical dilemmas, responses to events in the media or other topics relevant to clinical social work. Articles should be 500–700 words.
Articles expressing the personal views of members on issues affecting the social work profession are welcome and will be reviewed and published at the discretion of the editor. Signed articles reflect the views of the authors; Society endorsement is not intended. Articles are subject to editing for space and clarity.
Committee Reports: For each newsletter, I hope to hear from all branch and committee people to inform us of their activities.
Out & About: Share news about you: an article you’ve written, if you’ve been in the news, taught a class, earned a new certification or are a singer, artist or writer. Submissions should be 50 words or less. Send all submissions to email@example.com.
Next submission deadline: February 15, 2024
Need to reach a Board member? Click here for the listing of the GWSCSW Board of Directors