Update on Legislative Activity

The Patient Confidentiality Bill, (S2805) passed the Senate on June 23, 2017. The bill is now headed to the Assembly.

This bill is sponsored by Senator Robert M. Gordon, District 38 (Bergen and Passaic) and involves other Senate and Assembly co-sponsors.

It is important to fight the never ending legislative battle to maintain the values and integrity of our profession. Our voices must be heard!

Below are links to contact your NJ State and Federal Legislators:

Legislative/Guild Committee

The Legislative/Guild Committee serves multiple purposes. It works closely with the Clinical Social Work Guild, which is our affiliation with the Office of Professional Employees International (OPEIU) and the AFL-CIO. We review Bills that are introduced into the House and Senate, and provide feedback to our lobbyist in Washington, DC and/or representatives at the state level.

Members are kept informed about important legislative matters through our Newsletter and the NJSCSW email listserv. We encourage our members to contact their Senators and Congressmen about legislative matters that affect clinical social workers. When necessary, this committee will testify on behalf of our profession at the State House in Trenton, as it has in the past to pass the loss/ratio legislation S-1993. The committee, along with Jim Wrich, has written, testified and insured that the legislation passed requires managed care companies to disclose their profits according to the state's definitions of profits and losses; not the managed care companies’ definitions.

We are also instrumental in helping members address problems with insurance companies. The committee welcomes new members’ interest and time. For further information, please email the committee chair, Luba Shagawat, LCSW at Luba11@aol.com.

Current Legislative Agenda

Luba Shagawat, Director of Legislative Affairs.

 Who Should Determine Medical Necessity? 

“Given that the CSW Guild and the NJSCSW believes that ONLY the treating clinician should determine medical necessity (and NOT the insurance company) the CSW Guild 49 has initiated the formation of a coalition that has addressed this concern. As a result, S-707 was written by Senator Gordon. Recently, Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle has proposed the Assembly version for introduction (A-4267). 

At this time, we are working toward getting a hearing with the Assembly to educate the legislators about the importance of this legislation. In essence this bill prevents insurance companies from deciding whether or not a patient requires treatment. If passed, ONLY the treating practitioner will be able to determine whether or not treatment is necessary. As you probably know treatment can be and is often denied because of cost containment rather than consideration of patient need.” This bill will remedy this conflict of interest.