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News & Press: Updates for Members

September 2018 Advocacy Updates

Friday, September 7, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kay Castillo
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Our advocacy efforts are made possible because of our dedicated membership! Having a robust social work membership is essential in allowing the National Association of Social Workers North Carolina Chapter to carry out statewide advocacy and representation that impacts the entire social work profession.

 

Here are a few ongoing efforts NASW-NC is involved with:

Medicaid Transformation

While the state works on Medicaid Transformation implementation, NASW-NC has met regularly with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services advocating for social workers and our clients. We have provided public comments on SEVEN Concept Papers released by the Department regarding the implementation. NASW-NC’s comments are available on the NASW-NC website: www.naswnc.org/news/?7228

You can find updated information about Medicaid Transformation, including fact sheets for clinicians and patients at: https://www.ncdhhs.gov/medicaid-transformation.

 

Medicaid Transformation will drastically change how behavioral health services are managed in the state. This includes who manages services for patients and how social workers will work with physical health, care management, and clinical services to treat the whole person.

Health Information Exchange Authority: Feasibility Study Results

Providers of Medicaid and other state funded services (i.e. the State Health Plan) need to have an electronic health record (EHR) in place and be connected to the state’s Health Information Exchange (HIE) Authority in order to submit patient data by legislatively set dates. Dates for behavioral health providers include:

·         Medicaid providers and other state funded services by June 1, 2019.

·         LME/MCOs need to be connected by June 1, 2020.

GOOD NEWS: a feasibility study was released in late July by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Information Technology, and the State Health Plan agreeing that behavioral health providers should be pushed back until at least 2020.

 

NASW-NC will be advocating in the upcoming legislative session to push the connection deadline back while we work on sustainable goals to help providers connect.

School Social Workers and School Violence

NASW-NC has been working with legislators on increasing the number of school social workers, increasing pay for school social workers, and creating a School Social Work Coordinator at the Department of Public Instruction.

Legislators have jumped at the opportunity to offer solutions as instances of school-based violence increase across the country and as North Carolina schools receive repeated threats. While the legislature only funded a one-year grant for school systems to apply for to hire support staff like social workers, we continue to advocate for the need of school social workers across the state and will continue our efforts in 2019! 

Political Action for Candidate Endorsement Committee

NASW-NC’s Political Action for Candidate Endorsement Committee (PACE) is meeting now and planning endorsements for the 2018 elections! Members will receive notice of candidates that were vetted by the PACE Committee and selected for endorsement. These endorsements mean the candidates support social work values!

NASW’s PACE Committee has already made endorsements for candidates running for Congress and the U.S. Senate. Check out their website to find out who in North Carolina was endorsed!

North Carolina Legislative Session and Upcoming Elections

Legislators adjourned the 2018 Legislative Short Session at the end of June. During their last week of session, they hastily passed six constitutional amendments that will be on the ballot in November. NASW-NC’s position is to vote AGAINST all six amendments.

 

Legislators will reconvene after the elections on Tuesday, November 27th and will most likely discuss legislation that is influenced by which Constitutional amendments pass. After this special session in November, we likely won’t see legislators again until January 2019 for the Legislative Long Session.


Currently, NASW-NC has two student interns working on a Social Work Voting Guide and detailed information about each constitutional amendment. These will be available to members soon!


Additionally, NASW has resources for social workers to increase voter participation. Those resources can be found here. Join your professional association in helping get out the vote!


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