Clinical social workers that participate in Medicare Part B will have their payment rates protected against a large cut provided the Senate acts favorably on the “Medicare Physician Fairness Act of 2009” (S. 1776). This legislation would permanently repeal the flawed sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula that determines future payment rates in Medicare and TRICARE. The SGR formula is frequently inappropriately described as the Medicare “physician fee” formula, but it actually sets the overall rate of increase or decrease for all Medicare Part B independent practitioners, including clinical social workers. NASW supports this bill, which would halt scheduled cuts in Medicare payments to clinical social workers and other health professions and has urged Congress to adopt a plan to recalibrate how those payments are set each year. See NASW’s letter to Congress here.
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