Defining Peer Roles and Status Among Community Health Workers and Peer Support Specialists in Integrated Systems of Care



Authors: Daniels A, Bergeson E, and Myrick K
Year: 2017
State: NatDoc: National Document
Website link: https://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.ps.201600378?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori%3Arid%3Acrossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub++0pubmed&
Publicly Available: Yes
Billing and Reimbursement:
Certification: CHW role scope of practice, Competencies
Evidence Generation:
Policy:
Sustainable Financing: How to engage and work with Medicaid, Including community-based CHWs, Evidence-based interventions
Workforce Development: Data sharing between social services and clinical teams, General other (including mention of “employment practices”), Outreach campaigns to identify CHWs, Training- Content modes delivery

Current strategies for integrating general medical and behavioral health services focus primarily on improving the coordination of care and expanding team-based services. Absent from most discussion has been a focus on the workforces that provide the bulk of community-based outreach, engagement, activation, motivational support, and self-management: community health workers (CHWs) and peer support specialists (PSSs). CHWs have primarily been deployed in general medical care and PSSs in behavioral health care. Understanding the unique contributions that CHWs and PSS provide for health promotion and wellness and improved population health outcomes is an important challenge. This Open Forum reviews the key elements of peer status as a way to help illustrate the differences between these workforces and the best deployment strategies for each workforce. A framework is proposed that outlines key support roles provided by the CHW and PSS workforces.



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