Update on Legislative Activity

It is with great pleasure that the NJSCSW board has hired a new lobbyist to advocate with the ever-changing legislation needs of our members and the community we serve. We realize that with COVID-19 and the reality that some of us might never return to face to face practice, that we need more than ever, to keep up with legislative changes that affect us. We have been vigilant in our efforts to ensure confidentiality for our patients and have fought the insurance companies that have threatened our integrity, reimbursements and the foundation on which we practice. For the past several years some of our members and patients have testified before the senate and the assembly to get the confidentiality legislation passed. At the present time the legislation has not passed. 

In March, 2022, Legislation (A 3154), a bill to protect the privacy of Mental Health patients, was introduced in the Assembly and referred to the Financial Institution Committee. The Senate version of the bill is (S 704).

If this bill passes we will no longer be at the mercy of insurer's requests, when they ask for more than we are legally allowed to provide regarding our clients. 

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

Please call your NJ State legislator to support (A 3154) and (S 704). 

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

Legislative Committee

The Legislative Committee serves multiple purposes. 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.

Concerned about Confidentiality?

The members of NJSCSW are all well aware of our conflicts with regard to maintaining our clent's confidentiality when insurers request more than our social work regulations allow. Often times we are asked to provide information about our clients that is prohibited by our Board of Social Work Examiners' rules and regulations.

When our early attempts to remedy this conflict failed, the NJSCSW decided that the only solution was a legislative one. Therefore, we took action.

As of March 2022, a bill to protect the privacy of Mental Health patients (A 3154) has been introduced in the Assembly and referred to the Financial Institution Committee.