Scopes of Practice and Reimbursement Patterns of Addiction Counselors, Community Health Workers, and Peer Recovery Specialists in the Behavioral Health Workforce

Authors: Angela Beck, PhD, MPH | Cory Page, MPH, MPP | Jessica Buche, MPH, MA | Danielle Rittman | Maria Gaiser, MPH

Topics: Behavioral Health, Medicaid, Scope of Practice (SOP)

Research Center: Behavioral Health Workforce Research Center

September 1, 2018

The field of behavioral health is experiencing a shortfall of licensed providers. Community health workers (CHWs) and peer recovery specialists (PRSs) function as critical components of the workforce that can mitigate access and treatment gaps. Increasing demand for behavioral health services, exacerbated by the ongoing opioid epidemic, has intensified the need for addiction counselors (ACs), who can become credentialed with less formal education than clinical mental health counselors.

This report explores credential requirements, scope of practice (SOP) elements, and Medicaid reimbursement rates for ACs, CHWs, and PRSs across the country to better understand how these workers can contribute to behavioral health service delivery.

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