Great article in the Lund Report pointing out the need for training and certification for navigators, peer wellness specialists and other non-traditional health care workers. The Network is supportive of the efforts in states (like the Family and Youth Roundtable in San Diego, California) and nationally (Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health) to certify family peer and support specialists, but family organizations in all 50 states need to get busy if you want to be a part of the changes in health care that are happening now. This article about efforts in Oregon underscores the urgency of getting certification and training up and running. Get busy folks and get involved with your state exchanges - we need to be ahead of the curve on this one.
- October 16, 2012 -- A community health worker accompanies a heart patient to the supermarket to show him how to buy heart-healthy foods. A peer wellness specialist helps a troubled young woman navigate the mental health system and develop a tailor-made toolbox for recovery. A personal health navigator connects an elderly immigrant to a primary care physician who speaks her language and is sensitive to her fear of the formal healthcare system.
If coordinated care organizations (CCO) work as intended, they’re expected to rely on non-traditional healthcare workers to improve health outcomes and help reduce costs for the state’s Medicaid population.
Oregon became the first state to enact legislation that identified three classes of healthcare workers as part of the care team for people on the Oregon Health Plan--community health workers, peer wellness specialists and personal health navigators— then gained approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to set up a payment category.
For all three categories, the rubber will meet the road around training and certification requirements. The legislation left that responsibility in the hands of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), which is forming a 12-member steering committee to make recommendations and help set up an official registry, said Alissa Robbins, OHA spokesperson.
- Continue reading here.