Medical Necessity Legislation Passes Out Of Senate Committee

Message from Luba Shagawat, LCSW F-NAP
Director of Legislative Affairs
NJ Society for Clinical Social Work

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to report more good news!

The legislation that we've been pioneering (which gives the right to determine medical necessity to the actual "treating practitioner") (S-2180) passed in the NJ Senate Commerce Committee yesterday, February 9, 2015. Only one legislator (Senator Cardinale) voted against it. To view the bill please go to:

The testimony presented by patients was powerful and had a strong impact on the legislators. Many thanks to our members who testified! I'd also like to extend appreciation to those members of our organization that brought forth patients who shared their experiences of being denied treatment by their insurance company. They articulated, very clearly, their personal traumas and expressed the harm that was caused to them when their own therapist couldn't make determinations about their treatment. Finally, many thanks to all our members that made calls earlier this week when I asked them to call committee members and seek their support.

Without going into detail, this piece of legislation insures that ONLY THE TREATING PROFESSIONAL will be able to determine medical necessity; Not the insurance companies, or any other other third party entity.

I promise to keep you abreast of developments as this bill moves through the legislature. As many of you know, at its core, the reason that the Clinical Social Work Guild was created in 1998 was to regain control over our own profession and maintain our professional ethics. We, the deliverers of care, have watched our ability to control our profession and practices usurped by the insurance industry. This bill goes a long way toward reaching the goals that were originally set forth by the CSW Guild - OPEIU/AFL-CIO.

My best, Luba

Luba Shagawat, LCSW F-NAP
Director of Legislative Affairs
NJ Society for Clinical Social Work

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