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Board of Social Work Examiners

COVID – 19 Update

The following are some recent decisions approved by the Board of Social Work Examiners that relate to the Governor’s Executive Order, the Department of Health and Human Services requirements for providers utilizing telehealth services, and the Maryland Office of Civil Rights. All of the changes are in response to the national public health emergency during COVID-19.

  • The regulatory requirements for noncompliance under HIPPA Rules have been lowered and the Office of Civil Rights will not impose penalties against covered health care providers in connection with the good faith provision of telehealth for noncompliance. ( See HAS.gov Notice of Enforcement Discretion for Telehealth)
  • Governor Lawrence J. Hogan’s Executive Order declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19. As a result there is a temporary expansion of Medicaid telehealth services with the home as an originating site. (See MDH, COVID-19#1 Temporary Expansion of Medicaid Regulations to permit Delivery of Telehealth Services to the Home to Mitigate Possible Spread of Novel Coronavirus (“COVID-19) Behavioral Health Service providers should contact the behavioral health ASO with questions regarding prior authorization requirements for services rendered via telehealth. Consult with the Medicaid telehealth program manual for more information.
  • Social workers licensed at the LCSW-C level can practice teletherapy within their scope of practice. LMSW level social workers can practice teletherapy only under the supervision of an LCSW-C social worker.
  • Clinical Social Workers licensed in other states can practice social work, including teletherapy no more than 6 months, with an endorsement application pending before the Board. This application will be expedited.
  • The supervision of social workers can be face to face in the physical presence of or electronic presence of the individuals involved in a supervisory relationship (must be visual technological communication).
  • ASWB has closed its testing centers until April 16, 2020. We are looking into extending the time a candidate is eligible to take the national examination as a result of this closing.
  • At this time, the BSWE Continuing Education Regulations remain in effect.  Conferences, workshops, and trainings have either been cancelled, postponed, or under further consideration by the Board Authorized Sponsors.  Sponsors are reviewing their options with some Sponsors already designating new training dates while others have postponed them awaiting further guidance from Governor Hogan.   Please contact the Sponsors directly to discuss their training plans. 
  • Some Board Authorized Sponsors may be changing their format from live conferences and trainings tolive, real-time, interactive webinars to earn Category I CEUs (the CE Certificate should reflect this language).  One option is to offer short trainings - for example, 2 to 4 hours in this format making it easier for licensees to attend.   However, the Continuing Education Regulations for Category I learning activities must be followed.