The National Association of Social Workers has put out a call for social workers to inform themselves about the behavioral health care manager position and advocate for social workers to be included in the language and official job requisites for this title and funding eligibility.
The NASW urges that “this is an opportunity for social workers to advocate for Medicare beneficiaries to receive quality care from social workers, one of the largest and only groups of mental health providers in the United States who treat behavioral and precipitating environmental factors impacting the lives of Medicare beneficiaries and others.
The description for the Behavioral Health Care Manager is clinical staff with formal education or specialized training in behavioral health (which could include a range of disciplines, for example, social work, nursing, and psychology).”
Three Prime Characteristics of the Behavioral Health Care Manager:
- It is a collaborative, comprehensive treatment role. BHCMs play a specialized part in a team-based approach to care, working alongside physicians, nurses, psychiatric providers, and other medical staff to ensure more continuity of care to clients. Social workers who are BHCMs can expect to be overseen by the treating physician or psychiatrist.
- Expectations include: performing an assessment of needs, including the administration of validated rating scales, the development of a care plan, provision of brief interventions, ongoing collaboration with the treating physician or other qualified health care professional, maintenance of a registry, all in consultation with a psychiatric consultant.
- The services proposed to be covered by the bill are all included in the clinical social work acumen: psychiatric evaluation, psychotherapy, crisis intervention, family psychotherapy, multiple family group psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, smoking and tobacco use cessation counseling, and alcohol or substance abuse structured screening and brief intervention services. By this, social workers are especially fit for the BHCM role.
Anticipated salaries for this position and it’s like differs by state and agency and is influenced by a level of education and experience of the social worker.
To read the policy. Pages 46,203 thru 46,205 relate to the Behavioral Health Care Manager role, and duties of the position are outlined on page 46,204.
Three Takeaways from this Document:
- The behavioral health care manager under this model of care is a member of the treating physician or other qualified health care professional’s clinical staff with formal education or specialized training in behavioral health (which could include a range of disciplines, for example, social work, nursing, and psychology) who provides care management services.
- Social workers who are BHCMs are eligible to bill Medicare for furnishing services to Medicare beneficiaries.
- Patients who are appropriate candidates to participate in the continuity of care model are considered an especially vulnerable population. They may have newly diagnosed conditions, need help in engaging in treatment, have not responded to standard care delivered in a non-psychiatric setting, or require further assessment and engagement prior to consideration of referral to a psychiatric care setting. Social workers are especially called and equipped to service these more vulnerable and at-risk populations.
To add your voice to social work advocacy on this policy.
Follow the instructions for “submitting a comment.” Refer to file code CMS-1654-P when commenting.