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Social workers' roles in patient care expand under affordable care act
Date:2/27/2014

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (Feb. 27, 2014) Social workers will see their roles in patient care expand as hospitals and other providers draw on a range of professionals to meet the demands of the Affordable Care Act, experts told the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work Forum "Health Care Reform: From Policy to Practice."

Former Harvard Pilgrim Health Care CEO Charles D. Baker Jr., the keynote speaker, said social workers bring an expansive view of care options and can play crucial roles, particularly under a "team-based care" approach.

"When I think of social workers, I think of problem-solvers," said Baker, a gubernatorial candidate in Massachusetts. Speaking Monday to an audience of nearly 300 researchers, social workers and health care officials, Baker lauded social workers' abilities to "stitch clinical and social service issues together with real-life implications.

"They deal with the complexity of problems that don't fit neatly into categories."

Baker delivered the keynote speech at the graduate school forum, which examined the impact of the landmark health care legislation on the social work profession. National Association of Social Workers CEO Angelo McClain led a panel discussion on the topic with social work leaders.

"It is crucial for social workers to be engaged in health care reform," said forum organizer and Graduate School of Social Work Associate Professor of Macro Practice Marylou Sudders. "One of the key aspects of the ACA is it promotes the integration of physical and behavioral health care treating the whole person, not just managing symptoms. Social work, as a unique discipline that combines clinical and policy practice, stands to make a vital contribution to this new era of health care."

Instead of delivering "a political stump speech," Baker said he wanted to offer his views on the ACA's impact on social work and social workers, particularly in the areas of care management and th
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Contact: Ed Hayward
ed.hayward@bc.edu
617-552-4826
Boston College
Source:Eurekalert  

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