Advocacy Alerts

May 8, 2020 NASW IA Chapter Newsletter


Scroll down for more information on these topics:


  1. Governor’s Proclamations dated 4-27-2020 & 5-6-2020
  2. Medicare
  3. State Legislative Update
  4. Federal Advocacy
  5. New website
  6. Voting is Social Work!
  7. Upcoming CEU events
  8. Survey on Telehealth
  9. Good news in Central Iowa
  10. Chapter Elections


  1. Governor’s Proclamations dated 4-27-2020 & 5-6-2020

These proclamations expire on 5-27-2020

The portions of the Governor’s proclamations that impact the practice of social work were simply extended until 5-27-2020.  The Iowa Board of Social Work has updated the guidance on social work licensure on the IBoSW website.  It seems that the only thing they have changed is the date.

  1. Medicare

On April 30, 2020, the CMS announced that they will be broadening the list of services provided by audio-only telephones that they will cover during this emergency to include many behavioral health and patient education services. The agency is also increasing payments for these services to match the payments of similar outpatient and office visits. Additionally, the CMS is waiving the video requirement for certain telephone evaluation and management services. You can read more about these and other actions the CMS is taking in response to COVID-19 at


For more information on Medicare go to


  1. State Legislative Update

At this time, the Iowa State Legislature is adjourned until 5-15-2020.  General expectations are that when they do come back it will be for a very short period of time to pass the FY2021 budget and then leave.  However, we have heard that some policy work continues to go on.

Please stay tuned for advocacy alerts that will likely need VERY quick attention and will likely center around

  • Funding for mental health services
  • Medicaid
  • Telehealth

If you have concerns at this time, do not hesitate to contact your legislator directly.  They are working behind the scenes, so don’t feel bad about disturbing them at home.

  1. Federal Advocacy

The NASW national office has been working diligently to ensure that needs of social workers and the clients who we serve have been taken into consideration in the COVID legislative packages. 

Medicare reimbursement for audio-only telehealth was one of NASW’s top priorities. 

For more information on other federal issues, go to

We encourage you to join NASW’s Advocacy Listserv to stay up-to-date on legislative, regulatory and other activity at the Federal level. There are a variety of valuable resources on the National web page to guide members in connecting with their lawmakers.

5. New website

We are still working out the kinks.  Don’t hesitate to let us know if you can’t find something.

6.  Voting is Social Work!

Iowa’s Primary Election is Tues. 6-2-2020 (seems rather anticlimactic after the Caucus!)

In person absentee voting began on 5-4-2020 (at your County Auditor’s office)

Mail-in ballots were sent out beginning 4-23-2020

The Iowa Secretary of State is encouraging everyone to vote by mail to decrease the number of people who go to the polls on election day.

To learn more about the voting process in Iowa go to


7.  Upcoming CEU events

Fri., 5-15-2020 -- LIVE WEBINAR

Working with Dissociative Identity Disorder 6.0 CEUs

Presented by Greg Nooney, LISW

For more information go to :


Sold out!


Clinical Supervision:  Past the Basics, Advanced Roundtable (3.0 hours)

Presented by Bruce Buchanan, LISW

But our goal is to record this webinar and place it on the NASW OnLine CE Institute so it will become an on-demand class.


Mon, 6-1-2020 – Live Webinar

Initial Clinical Supervision 6.0 CEUs

Presented by Bruce Buchanan, LISW


Fri., 5-5-2020 - Live Webinar

Ethics and Social Work Practice – 3.0 CEUs

Presented by Joe Nemmers, LISW

For more information go to


8.  Survey on Telehealth

Watch your inbox for a survey on social workers use of telehealth coming soon

9.  Good news in Central Iowa!

UnityPoint has opened a behavioral health urgent care clinic on E. 9th street in Des Moines.  Hours are 10 am to 8 pm, 7 days per week! Clients of all ages will be served.  Those younger than 18 must be accompanied by their parent or guardian.


10. Chapter Elections

NASW IA Chapter is seeking to round out the slate for our Chapter elections

These positions are open

  • Vice President for Budget and Finance
  • Secretary
  • NE Branch Chair
  • NW Branch Chair
  • SW Branch Chair
  • MSW Student Rep.
  • BSW Student Rep.

Please email President-elect Tony Raymer for more information

Self-nominations are welcome!  Or send us suggestions for NASW members who you think would represent you well on the Iowa Chapter Board.


I was talking to one of our members on the phone yesterday, and she reminded me that often times of crisis and chaos can bring opportunity.  I know that this is a very difficult time for many social workers and the people we serve.  My hope is that the NASW Iowa Chapter can continue to find opportunity in the crisis and chaos brought on by this pandemic.  I hope that you and your clients may be able to find some opportunities as well.

Denise Rathman

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