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Medicaid Agencies Utilize Peers and Other Non-Licensed Workers

Wednesday, December 11, 2019


A November 2019 report has determined that state Medicaid programs are expanding their use of non-licensed workers, like peers, in providing substance use disorder services. The report, 50-State Scan: How Medicaid Agencies Leverage their Non-Licensed Substance Use Disorder Workforce, presents information like what types of workers are utilized, what services they provide, and what Medicaid reimburses. Detailed information is provided on Medicaid requirements across states for peers, counselors, and other qualified providers, along with corresponding reimbursement categories for each. The report was prepared by NASHP, the National Academy for State Health Policy.

Findings have particular relevance for Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) clients, for multiple reasons: 31.5% of RWHAP clients were covered by Medicaid (2018 Annual Client-Level Data Report), and there is a high rate of substance abuse disorders among people with HIV. Furthermore, RWHAP agencies have a long history of tapping peers and related staff to deliver HIV services and might leverage that expertise to secure Medicaid reimbursement.

See our collection of resources on Peers, including insights from the TA project Using Community Health Workers to Improve Linkage and Retention in Care 

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