April 2021 - Chicago District Update
Michael Mallory, Chicago District Chair
Happy Spring Chicago District!
As the warmer weather rolls out, the more antsy we all get to re-engage in our normal spring/summer festivities. Much like the populations we serve, we have all been stuck in purgatory of the pandemic. Thus, we are restless to get some semblance of normalcy and to make up for the lost opportunities due to the shut down. I encourage all of you to continue to practice restraint and to be mindful of your activities to maintain the safety of yourselves, your loved ones, and your clients. All of us are feeling the COVID slump as we see our lives sit idle while the world around us keeps moving.
As the world keeps moving, there are a few items I’d like for all of you to be aware of that are happening that have the opportunity to impact our work:
2) The new HIPAA rule goes into effect Monday; this rule modifies current protected health information (PHI) access practices which has caused organizations to reconsider current practices and policies. However, there is some confusion on how this may impact behavioral health care. I have attached an article from a law firm that details these changes as well as a ‘one-pager’ on impacted healthcare providers.
2) On March 26th, there was a Mental Health and Addiction Committee meeting in Springfield that discussed bill HB2595 which proposes an amendment to the Illinois Insurance Code to ensure that Managed Care Organizations and commercial insurance providers are covering mental health and addiction services much like they would physical health care. I have attached a ‘one pager’ from the Kennedy Forum about this. NASW-IL is also a key coalition member and gave an update on the bill in its recent April 2021 Advocacy Update.
In other, less "information overload" news, please keep an eye out in your inboxes for the NASW-Illinois Chapter election slate. Please make sure to cast your votes as this will close at the end of the month. Also, on April 8th, the NASW-Illinois Chapter will be hosting their Advocacy Day. Please make sure to consider attending as there will be a series of informative breakout sessions. There are CEUs for this event!!
Thank you all for your continued dedication to our work as social workers and especially for your continued dedication to the populations you serve.
Until next time,