California's Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification Program
Thanks to SB 803 (passed in 2020) peers in California can now apply to become certified Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialists. This allows them to be paid for the services they provide for Medi-Cal Members. The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) establishes standards for the Medi-Cal statewide certification program, while counties, or county-contracted entities, implement programs at the local level. (W&I Code Section 14045.14).
The California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) is the certifying agency for the Certification Program. They are responsible for certification, examination, and enforcement of professional standards. DHCS provides oversight for CalMHSA and addresses any issues with established standards.
California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA)
Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist Certification
With the certification exam, CalMHSA ensures that all meet the minimum educational requirements for Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialists. CalMHSA also 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 to identify core competencies for peer support workers. The first analysis identified Peer Certification Training Curriculum Core Competencies across the United States. The second 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.
Links to general information on becoming a Certified Medi-Cal Peer Support Specialist in California.
Need to know more about the Certification Exam? The links below will provide easy to use information.
Exam Comfort Aid List (review before requesting an exam accommodation)
Resources for Certified Peer Support Specialists
Are you already certified? Check out the links below for more information on how to keep your certification up to date.
Resource for Peer Support Specialist Supervisors
Do you supervise Peer Support Specialists? Click on the links to find out about supervisor training, certification renewal and continuing education requirements for peers.
Department of Health Care Services:
Peer Support Services
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.