Peer Support for Payers and Health Systems

Mental Health America

Friday Apr 19, 2019 12:00 pm EDT
United States

Peer support is an evidence-based practice that improves quality of life, overall health, and engagement with services while reducing the use of expensive and disruptive high levels of care like inpatient hospitalization and emergency department use. The expansion of peer support is key to addressing the behavioral health workforce shortage and improving outcomes for more people at lower overall costs.

Despite its use across the country in Medicaid and its potential to address the most pressing issues in health care, there has been limited expansion into Medicare and commercial insurance.

This learning session will explore barriers to the expansion of peer support including concerns about where peer support specialists fit on teams and across settings, how to pay for services, and how to guarantee high quality, consistent peer support services. Following this session, participants will understand:

The fundamentals of peer support;
How peers thrive on teams and across settings; and
The cost and quality impact of peer support.
Hear from leaders in the field, discuss your concerns, and develop an understanding of and plan for how you can use peer services to improve the lives and wellbeing of the individuals you serve.


Patrick Hendry, NCPS, is the Vice President of Peer Advocacy, Supports, and Services at Mental Health America. He has worked as a mental health advocate for the past twenty-four years. His areas of expertise include peer-provided services, self-directed care, recovery-based trainings, organizational development, and management and sustainability. He is the former Executive Director of the Florida Peer Network and has assisted in the development of numerous peer-run programs and organizations. Patrick is a strong supporter of the inclusion of mental health consumers in all aspects of the behavioral health system.

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