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California Peer Certification

Peers in California can now be certified to bill Medi-Cal for peer support services. Under SB 803 (passed in 2020), the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) was authorized to establish Medi-Cal statewide certification program standards while counties, or county-contracted entities, were charged with implementing programs at the local level. (W&I Code Section 14045.14).

The California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) is responsible for certification, examination, and enforcement of professional standards for Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialists in California. DHCS provides oversight for CalMHSA and addresses any issues with established standards. 

Click on a button below to learn more about these agencies, the California Behavioral Health Planning Council and connect to a list of approved training entitites. 

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The California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) is the certifying entity, responsible for certification, examination, and enforcement of professional standards for Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialists in California. All applicants seeking certification are required to successfully pass an exam ensuring any individual holding a certification has meet the minimum educational requirements. CalMHSA investigates consumer complaints and imposes disciplinary actions against a Certificant who violates the Code of Ethics. Read CalMHSA's Peer Certification Proposal to DHCS.

The California Mental Health Services Authority works with its Stakeholder Advisory Council and County Behavioral Health Plans to ensure the voice of Peers is reflective in its certification program.

CalMHSA performed two landscape analyses of the peer workforce in California. The first was a landscape analysis of Peer Certification Training Curriculum Core Competencies across the United States Landscape Analysis. In this analysis CalMHSAS reviewed existing Peer Certification programs across the United States to compare core curriculums, training standards, required skills, and best practices. The second landscape analysis, focused on specific Core Competencies for Caregiver and Family Member Peers

Questions and comments related to Peer Certification may be submitted by email to PeerCertification@calmhsa.org or by calling (279) 234-0699

Below are links to the most common information that you need for the Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification program. These are links to information from CalMHSA. If any of the links does not work, visit the CalMHSA Peer Certification Website for the most up-to-date information.

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Senate Bill (SB) 803, chaptered in 2020, authorized DHCS to seek federal approvals to add peer support specialists as a Medi-Cal provider type and peer support services as a distinct service type in counties opting to participate in this program. DHCS is pursuing these federal approvals through the Medicaid waiver and State Plan Amendment processes.

 

SB 803 created the statutory authority for DHCS to establish Medi-Cal statewide certification program standards while counties, or county-contracted entities, are responsible for implementing the programs at the local level. (W&I Code Section 14045.14)

 

Questions and comments related to the implementation of SB 803 may be submitted by email to Peers@dhcs.ca.gov.

Visit the DHCS Peer Support Services website for the most up-to-date information.

General Information

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The California Behavioral Health Planning Council (CBHPC) is a majority Consumer and Family member advisory​ body to state and local government, the Legislature, and residents of California on mental health services in California.​

The vision and mission of the CBHPC guides its evaluation of California's system of behavioral ​​health care through targeted committee studies, community site visits, and General Session forums and presentations. The CBHPC informs the Administration and the Legislature on priority issues, provides feedback on behavioral health policy and regulations, and on legislative actions based on our Policy Platform.​

The California Behavioral Health Planning Council can be reached at (916) 701-8211 or jane.adcock@cphpc.dhcs.ca.gov

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