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News & Press: Updates for Members

3/18/2020 Medicare Telehealth: Important Updates for Clinical Social Workers

Tuesday, March 17, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kay Castillo
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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) just issued the below information about telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries. NASW pleased with it overall and wanted to get it to you right away:


  • LCSWs can provide teletherapy to beneficiaries if the client is in their home.
  • They can also see new or existing patients.
  • Telephone/audio only does not appear to be reimbursable; CSWs must use a video conferencing platform.
  • HIPAA requirements are also eased.

Read the link to get complete detail! 


More information will be provided later this week regarding telehealth state policy for Medicaid beneficiaries.


Further clarification on this new policy (3/18/2020)

LCSWs and clients can use video apps such as Facetime and Skype and the like for teletherapy. They do not need to use the same HIPAA-compliant video set-up that is typically required. That said, the phone-based set up must include both video as well as audio capability. Therefore, an audio-only therapy session may not be reimbursable. We are still confirming the use of audio only. Check NASW's COVID page for more details as information is forth coming.


Here is a link for further details from CMS:


NASW is planning to do a national webinar in the next 5 days which will cover telehealth. Information will be sent out ASAP.

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