PRESS RELEASE: New Peer Certification Bill SB 803 Introduced

SB 803 (Beall) PRESS RELEASE

Principle author Senator Jim Beall,  Principal Co-author Assemblymember Marie Waldron, Co-authors Senator Wiener and Senator Wilk Assembly members Aguiar-Curry, Arambula Aguiar-Curry, Grayson, Ramos and Wicks  CAMHPRO a co sponsor

SB 803 Fact Sheet

SB 803 Peers Press Release January 8 2020

Senator Jim Beall Champions Mental Health Legislation to Certify Peers

Today, long-time mental health champion Senator Jim Beall introduced legislation SB 803 to create state certification for mental health care providers known as Peer Support Specialists.

Last year, Senator Beall’s bipartisan effort, SB 10, made it to the Governor’s desk with unanimous votes, where it was vetoed. Sen. Beall is reintroducing this legislative initiative as an effort to make strategic, cost-effective reforms to California’s mental health programs.

“Statewide certification of Peer Support Specialists will ultimately save the state money while improving mental health outcomes. The Governor and I have the same goals- help people and use our resources wisely. SB 803 will improve our system in an ongoing, sustainable way.”

A peer is a person who draws on lived experience with mental illness and/or substance use disorder and recovery, bolstered by specialized training, to deliver valuable support services in a mental health and/or substance use setting. “It is time that peers are validated as an essential and professional part of the behavioral health workforce” asserts Sally Zinman, Executive Director of California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations (CAMHPRO).

The state is facing a shortage of qualified mental health professionals to ensure all Californians receive care. Peer Support Specialists are a much needed addition to the workforce.

Dr. Jonathan Sherin, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, emphasized that LA County is ready to take action. “LA County looks to expand upon and professionalize its peer support programs in a sustainable manner which will not be possible until we secure statewide certification and a reliable reimbursement mechanism. Leveraging lived experience through peer support is critical to the service transformation we need in California. The state must make the most of every resource available to address our mental health crisis; recognizing and resourcing Peer Support Specialists statewide will be a wise investment.”

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and 48 states have a certification process in place or in development for mental health peer support specialists. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released guidance in 2007 for establishing a certification program for peers to enable the use of federal Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) financial participation with a 50% match.

Studies show that peers contribute to the ability of people with mental illness and substance abuse to obtain education and employment, contributing to the California economy rather than depending on social safety nets alone.

“Research demonstrates that the utilization of qualified peer support specialists has measurable benefits to clients including reduced hospitalizations, improved functioning, and alleviation of depression and other symptoms. The time has come for California to embrace peer support as an evidence-based model and put in place a certification program that will standardize best practices” stated Maggie Merritt, Executive Director of the Steinberg Institute, a Sacramento-based non-profit mental health public policy institute.

In California, demand for peer services is growing, but there is no statewide scope of practice, training standards, supervision standards, or certification.

 “California has an important opportunity to deliver quality, cost-effective, evidence-based mental health services and add diversity to our mental health workforce by certifying Peer Support Specialists,” said Michelle Doty Cabrera, executive director of the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California (CBHDA).  “While California faces a severe shortage of mental health professionals needed to serve our diverse communities, the specific services delivered by trained, supervised peers have shown to improve client outcomes and reduce costs at the same time.  But California can only realize these benefits for our mental health clients in Medi-Cal if we join the 48 states that have already recognized the effectiveness of Peer Support Services through certification.” 

SB 803, The Peer Support Specialist Certification Act of 2020 establishes a statewide certification program for peer support specialists and provides the structure needed to maximize the federal match for peer services under Medi-Cal.

The legislation is applauded by a broad and large coalition of supporters, and is sponsored by California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations, County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California, County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors, and Steinberg Institute.

SB 10 Peer Certification VETOED – again

Governor Newsom Takes Final Action of 2019 Legislative Season
Published: 

LINK TO ALL FINAL ACTIONS

OFFICAL SB 10 VETO MESSAGE

*From the website*
Joint accomplishments include urgently addressing California’s affordability crisis by passing the Nation’s strongest statewide rent protections, expanding health care coverage and passing legislation to lower prescription drug prices

Focused on effective government by fortifying state against natural disasters and economic downturns – passing historic wildfire safety legislation and creating largest rainy day fund Ensuring justice for all Californians by passing historic clean drinking water legislation and taking on powerful institutions on behalf of everyday Californians

“Together, we have accomplished a great deal this year to help California families get ahead and made historic progress on some of the state’s most intractable challenges.”

SACRAMENTO — Governor Gavin Newsom took his final actions of the 2019 legislative season today and thanked the Legislature for their work and accomplishment on enacting 870 bills in the following statement:

“I want to take a moment to congratulate the Legislature on their work this year and to thank Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon for their leadership. Together, we have accomplished a great deal this year – through the budget and legislation – that helps California families get ahead and tackles some of the state’s most intractable problems.

“This year, California passed the nation’s strongest renter protection package. Our state made record housing and homeless investments paired with big new tools for housing production. We moved California closer to universal health care coverage by expanding coverage, increasing Covered California subsidies for middle-income Californians and taking on rising prescription drug prices. 

“California, faced with catastrophic wildfires, invested $1 billion to prevent, mitigate and recover from wildfires, disasters and emergencies. And in July, our state enacted something that few people thought could be done – wildfire legislation that moved California closer to a safer, reliable and affordable energy future.

“Our state is doing more now than at any point in our history to help California families tackle the challenges of affordability and provide opportunity to all Californians – more than doubling tax cuts for working families, expanding paid family leave, increasing access to early childhood education, and taking on payday lenders. 

“On education, California brought disparate sides in the education community together and forged a historic agreement on changes to charter school law that was years in the making. We invested more in K-14 education than at any point in our history, and put on next year’s ballot the chance to make long-overdue investments in school infrastructure and safety. California made two years of community college tuition-free, increased financial aid for parents pursuing a college degree and kept tuition from rising in our UC and CSU systems.

“We have helped defend our state from Trump’s attacks – blocking the Administration from using state lands to open up drilling on protected federal lands. We took on the long-standing challenge of clean drinking water systems, became the first ever to require SMOG tests for semi trucks and convinced four major auto-makers to stand up for higher emission standards and oppose the Trump administration.

“California is once again striking out against injustice and leading the nation by example. We passed one of the country’s strongest police use-of-force laws, and outlawed private, for-profit prisons. California became the first state in the nation to stand up to the NCAA’s long-standing profiteering from student athletes. California took first-in-the-nation steps to strengthen our gun safety laws, protect workers and defend reproductive health care rights. We continued to make progress reforming our criminal justice system – eliminating a major mandatory minimum sentence and establishing a system to seal arrest and conviction records for low-level offenses.

“We are proving that our state is successful not despite our diversity, but because of it. California isn’t just defending our vibrant immigrant communities. We are affording all Californians – regardless of immigration status – the chance to serve their communities and give back.

“In California, we are putting in place new reforms of agencies that don’t serve the public as well as they should – pushing the DMV to join the 21st century, giving new authority to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to enforce wildfire safety standards, and recasting the priorities of our state’s agency that regulates oil and gas extraction.

“California did all of this while living within our means: creating the largest rainy day fund in California history, paying down pension liabilities and eliminating our state’s wall of debt.  

“In my inaugural, I spoke of the California Dream as a house – one that must be built on a strong fiscal foundation. For that reason, I am returning a number of bills to the Legislature without my signature that would significantly increase costs outside of the state’s regular budget process. 

“We have clearly achieved a great deal together, and I commend the Legislature for their hard work. I look forward to our continued partnership as we head into the new year and continue to tackle challenges of affordability and work to expand opportunity to all Californians.”

In his final action of the 2019 legislative season, the Governor today vetoed a number of bills that would significantly increase costs outside of the state’s regular budget process. In total, Governor Newsom vetoed bills this year costing $1.2 billion, increasing to $3 billion ​annually at full implementation. He also took action on a number of other bills.

Peer Support SB10: Appropriations Friday 8/30

Friday, August 30, 2019 Appropriations
GONZALEZ, Chair

Upon Adjournment of Session – State Capitol, Room 4202
Listen to this hearing
Appropriations Committee
Hearings

SB-10 Mental health services:
peer support specialist certification legislations

SB10 Peer Certification Assembly Health Committee 1:30 room 4202

July 2 at 1:30 pm
1315 10th St
Room 4202
Sacramento, CA 95814

 

THIRD READING HISTORY
SENATE RULES COMMITTEE:
Office of Senate Floor Analyses (916) 651-1520
Fax: (916) 327-4478

Bill No: SB 10
Author: Beall (D), et al.
Amended: 5/17/19
Vote: 21

SENATE HEALTH COMMITTEE: 9-0, 3/27/19 AYES: Pan, Stone, Durazo, Grove, Hurtado, Leyva, Mitchell, Monning, Rubio

SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE: 6-0, 5/16/19 AYES: Portantino, Bates, Bradford, Hill, Jones, Wieckowski

SUBJECT: Mental health services: peer support specialist certification

SOURCE: Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors  ~ Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission ~ Steinberg Institute

Message from Senator Beall’s Office

Dear supporters,

Thank you so much for your patience- we have a new Assembly Health committee date for SB 10- Tuesday July 2 at 1:30 pm in room 4202. We will be up first. Please come and show your support- this will be our last policy committee hearing and we want it to be big!

Thank you to all who have sent letters!

SB 10 Assembly Health Committee June 11

Senator Beall’s office has sent the following message:

“SB 10 (Beall) will be heard in Assembly Health Committee Tuesday, June 11 1:30 p.m. — State Capitol, Room 4202. Please come and express your support for peers. As you know, though this policy has broad bipartisan support, it has been vetoed twice in the past so it’s important to send a loud a clear message that we need SB 10 signed into law!

 The Assembly committees will only accept support letters through the Advocacy portal. Please take a moment to personalize the attached template, or update your current letter and please make sure support letters are uploaded through the Advocate Portal 

ADVOCATE PORTAL
by Tuesday, June 4

DOCUMENTS:

Current SB 10 Peer Certification Fact Sheet

SB 10 Sample Support Letter

SB 10 passed on the Senate Floor 38-0!

SENATE HEALTH COMMITTEE:  9-0, 3/27/19
AYES:  Pan, Stone, Durazo, Grove, Hurtado, Leyva, Mitchell, Monning, Rubio

SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE:  6-0, 5/16/19
AYES:  Portantino, Bates, Bradford, Hill, Jones, Wieckowski

SUBJECT:  Mental health services:  peer support specialist certification

SOURCE:    Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission
Steinberg Institute

DIGEST:

This bill requires the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to establish a program for certifying peer support specialists; requires DHCS to amend its Medicaid state plan and to seek any federal waivers or state plan amendments to implement the certification program; and permits DHCS to implement, interpret, and make specific the certification program through available means, as specified, until regulations are adopted.

READ FULL ANALYSES
Senate Floor_5-21-19
SENATE RULES COMMITTEE
Office of Senate Floor Analyses
(916) 651-1520
Fax: (916) 327-4478

SB 10 will be heard at the Appropriations Committee on Monday April 8, 2019

SB 10 will be heard at the Appropriations Committee

Monday April 8, 2019.

ANTHONY PORTANTINO, Chair

10 a.m. – John L. Burton Hearing Room (4203) at Capitol

Dear Senator Portantino,
The Steinberg Institute is a leading nonprofit public policy institute that supports and encourages effective and comprehensive mental health policymaking. We are the proud sponsors of SB 10 (Beall) that would call upon the state to standardize high-quality peer and family support services. READ ENTIRE LETTER

Sammy Caiola / Capital Public Radio

Eric Bailey now works for Sacramento’s chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, using his lived experience with bipolar disorder to help connect people suffering from mental health issues to the care they need.

California lawmakers are considering a bill that could help build a workforce of people living with mental illness to help guide others in need of services toward care.

When Eric Bailey landed in a San Diego hospital after a mental health crisis in 2013, he says he was at the end of his rope.

“At the moment of being ready to discharge, I had zero idea what I was doing,” he said. “I had no vehicle there at the time, my wife was leaving me, I’d lost my job, I was losing my apartment as well.”

Bailey didn’t know where to go. Then a stranger approached him and told him he’d been in that same psychiatric ward, and that he could help. READ FULL ARTICLE

SB 10 Peer Certification Capitol Visit 3/27

Following emotional testimony from supporters
The Senate Health Committee Wednesday
Unanimously passed SB 10 (Senator Jim Beall)

which would establish a certification process for peer providers of mental health and substance abuse services. Peers are people who draw on experiences with mental illness and/or substance use disorder and recovery, bolstered by specialized training, to deliver valuable support services in a treatment setting.

Witnesses Wednesday included Khatera Tamplen, a peer herself who is consumer empowerment manager at Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services and chair of the state Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission, which co-sponsored the bill along with the Steinberg Institute. Also speaking was Keris Jän Myrick, Discipline Chief for Peer Services for the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, who was featured in a New York Times article for being a successful executive with a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Myrick was accompanied by LA County Director of Mental Health Jon Sherin, who said getting a certification process was his top priority.

Across California, peer providers are already used in many settings. However, there is no statewide standard of practice, consistent curriculum, training standards, supervision standards, or certification protocol in California, which now one of only two states (the other is South Dakota) that does not have peer certification. Yet peer support programs have emerged nationwide as an evidence-based practice with proven benefits to both peers and the clients they assist, including reduced hospitalizations, alleviation of depression and enhanced self-advocacy.

A peer support program also creates a career ladder so that consumers and family members working in mental health care have the opportunity to fully contribute, translating their experience into meaningful employment.

Hot Off the Press: SB 10 Peer Certification First Hearing 3/27

The first Hearing date for SB 10, Peer, Parent, Transition-Age, and Family Support Specialist Certification Program, has been set. 
Wednesday March 27
1:30 p.m.
Senate Health Committee Room 4203
Support letters are due a week before the hearing, so by 3/20

California Poll: Mental Health Care Access, Insurance Coverage, Affordability Rank Among Top Health Care Priorities for New Governor, Legislature

KFF-CHCF email alert banner

California Poll: Access to Mental Health Care, Insurance Coverage, and Affordability Rank among Californians’ Top Health Care Priorities for the New Governor and Legislature

Most Californians Say
Their Community Does Not Have Enough Mental Health Providers

Large Majorities across Parties Say Medi-Cal is Important to the State;
Most Residents Say Program is Important to Their Families;
Access to Care Remains a Challenge for Some Enrollees

 

Californians rank making health care more affordable among their top overall priorities for the state’s new governor and legislature, with 45 percent citing it as “extremely important,” just behind improving public education (48%) and ahead of affordable housing (40%), finds a new KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation)/California Health Care Foundation poll examining state health policy issues.

Among health issues, Californians’ top priorities are ensuring people with mental health problems can get treatment (49% say it is “extremely important”), making sure all Californians have access to health coverage (45%), and reducing what people pay for their health care (41%).

Mental health access ranks in the top two health priorities for Democrats, Republicans and independents alike. Half (52%) of all Californians say their community does not have enough mental health providers to serve local needs.

Californians-Say-Their-Community-Doesnt-Have-Enough-Mental-Health-Provid...

“We have never before seen the public place such strong emphasis on access to mental health treatment in our national or state polls,” said KFF’s President and CEO Drew Altman.

“There is a strong sense of urgency in these mental health findings,” said Sandra R. Hernández, president and CEO of the California Health Care Foundation. “Californians are telling us loud and clear that more should be done to expand and improve mental health treatment.”

The poll also gauges Californians’ views on the Medi-Cal program and finds an overwhelming majority (91%) say Medi-Cal is “very” or “somewhat” important to the state, including large majorities of Democrats (97%), independents (90%), and Republicans (80%). About six in 10 Californians (59%) say Medi-Cal is personally important to them and their families.

READ THE REPORT METHODOLOGY

The state-wide survey of 1,404 California residents was conducted before new Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled his budget plan and priorities, which include proposals to expand health care access, affordability and coverage. Its findings highlight many of the challenges Californians face in these areas as the governor, legislature and other policymakers weigh potential solutions. For example:

Affordability

  • More than four in 10 Californians (44%) say they or someone in their household delayed or skipped medical care in the past year because of the cost. The share rises to more than half for people who are uninsured (54%) as well as those with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level (55%).
  • One in five (20%) say they have had problems paying household medical bills in the past year. The share is higher among those who suffer from a debilitating health condition (34%).
  • Worries about affording unexpected medical bills (63%) outrank worries about affording routine out-of-pocket medical costs (56%) and worries about affording other basic needs, including transportation (53%) and housing (52%).

Access

  • Most Californians (57%) say residents with mental health conditions are not able to get needed services, and nearly half (48%) say the same about people with alcohol and drug use problems. The share reporting lack of access is even higher among those who say they or a family member sought treatment for these problems in the past 12 months.
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) of Californians say they had to wait longer than they thought reasonable to get an appointment for medical care in the past 12 months. This includes one in three (33%) Medi-Cal enrollees.
  • Among those who say they or a family member sought treatment for a mental health condition in the past year, about a quarter (23%) say they had to wait longer than they thought reasonable to get an appointment for mental health care, a share rising to four in ten (42%) for Medi-Cal enrollees.
  • In addition to half of Californians citing a shortage of mental health providers, about a third say their communities don’t have enough primary care doctors (35%) or specialists (33%) to serve local residents, and a quarter say they don’t have enough hospitals (27%). People living in the San Joaquin Valley and the Inland Empire are more likely than other Californians to say their local community lacks adequate numbers of providers.
  • The poll finds Californians strongly support one potential idea for addressing regional provider shortages: a large majority (83%) say the state government should provide medical and nursing students with scholarships and financial help if they agree to work in areas with too few providers.

Coverage

  • Half (50%) of the uninsured in California say they have been without insurance for at least two years. The main reason people report for being uninsured is that insurance is too expensive or they cannot afford it.
  • Worries about immigration status may also contribute to some uninsured Californians’ reluctance to seek coverage. Among the uninsured, 40 percent say they are worried that signing up for insurance could draw attention to their or a family member’s immigration status.
  • Although ensuring access to insurance is a top priority for Californians, residents hold mixed views on establishing a single-payer health system in the state. About half the public (48%) favors such a plan, while four in 10 (40%) oppose it. Notably, six in ten California Republicans (62%) strongly oppose such a plan, while about half as many Democrats (32%) strongly support it.

Views on the Affordable Care Act and Covered California

Most Californians (58%) view the Affordable Care Act favorably, making the national health reform law somewhat more popular in California than the country as a whole. This may be largely due to the fact that California leans Democrat, and Democrats are more supportive of the law than independents or Republicans.

Most Californians (56%) also say the state-run health insurance marketplace, Covered California, is working well. This includes majorities of Democrats (70%) and independents (55%), but only a third of Republicans (34%).

READ THE REPORT METHODOLOGY

Designed and analyzed by researchers at KFF and the California Health Care Foundation, the California Health Policy Survey was conducted from November 12-December 27, 2018 among a random digit dial telephone sample of 1,404 adults living in California. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline (476) and cell phone (928). The margin of sampling error including the design effect for the full sample is plus or minus 3 percentage points. For results based on subgroups, the margin of sampling error may be higher.

Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.

Contacts:

Rakesh Singh | (650) 854-9400 | rsingh@kff.org
Lisa Aliferis | (510) 587-3159 | laliferis@chcf.org