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Capitol Correspondence - 04.22.19

Worth Monitoring: Mental Health Groups Seek Medicare Funding for Peer Supports

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ANCOR is sharing this article by Politico Pro because if the efforts it describes are successful it could set a promising precedent for disability supports, where peer and natural supports play an important role in helping people with disabilities lead independent lives in the community.

As written by Politico Pro:

“MENTAL HEALTH GROUPS WANT MEDICARE COVERAGE FOR PEER SUPPORT SERVICES — Mental health advocates are pushing lawmakers to include peer support services in Medicare Parts A and B as part of a broader effort to shore up the behavioral health workforce. The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors is lobbying Congress to include coverage of these services in Medicare as more states continue to add certified peer specialists to assist providers with non-medical help, including helping find housing and other community supports.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency in recent years has also made a push to integrate peer specialists, usually people in recovery themselves, into the behavioral health workforce. The bipartisan legislation Congress passed last year to address the opioid crisis also included funds for peer support to assist people with drug addiction. It’s unclear if this effort will have similar support.”