In December 2011, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued a bulletin on the Essential Health Benefits (EHB), an important component of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (see 12/21/11 blog posting). This week, NASW submitted its comments (see here) on DHHS’ proposed approach. NASW made a strong appeal for a comprehensive, uniform set of national health benefits, and suggested that weak, state-based EHB packages will harm low-income and vulnerable individuals. NASW also appealed to DHHS for development of a national medical necessity standard and for inclusion of hospice and palliative care services in the final EHB package. NASW encourages members to submit their own comments by February 10th . (While the published date for comments was January 31st, DHHS considers that a soft deadline.) You are welcome to use the NASW comments as a template for your own letter. Comments should be sent to: EssentialHealthBenefits@cms.hhs.gov
Social Work Advocates magazine is accepting submissions for the Viewpoints column from current NASW members.