COVID-19 and Certification of Peer Recovery Support

Text of email on COVID-19 and Certification of Peer Recovery Support from the
N.J. Dept. of Human Services, Div. of Medical Assistance & Health Services

Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services

TO:                        Independent Clinics – Services – For Action
                              Managed Care Organizations – For Information
SUBJECT:              COVID-19 and Certification of Peer Recovery Support
Specialists
EFFECTIVE:           Immediately

BACKGROUND:     Based on current information, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) considers COVID-19, otherwise known as the coronavirus, to be a serious public health concern.  Although the health risk is low at this time, the World Health Organization, the CDC and the New Jersey Department of Health are closely monitoring the progress of the disease and issuing warnings as necessary to ensure the health and safety of the general public.

In an effort to meet the needs of both our NJ FamilyCare Medicaid members and the provider healthcare community, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has granted the NJ Department of Human Service, Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS) an allowance to provide relief to the provider enrollment application process during this public health emergency.

 The qualifications of an individual requesting participation as a Peer Recovery Specialist, otherwise known as a peer, in an independent clinic setting include individuals having one (1) year lived experience or have had worked in the addictions field for 2 to 4 years; (2) certification as either a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS), a Certified Recovery Support Professional (CRSP), a Nationally Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist (NCPRSS) or certification by the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) with a credential in peer recovery.

 Independent clinic providers are having difficulties meeting the service needs of individuals with substance use disorders due to certification requirements for peer recovery support specialists.  In order to offer relief to the provider enrollment process for these providers during the COVID-19 state of emergency, the DMAHS is temporarily amending the enrollment requirements for this provider group.

 From the N.J. Dept. of Human Services, Div. of Medical Assistance & Health Services

Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services

 ACTION:      Effective Immediately, and only for those providers enrolling peer recovery support specialists with one (1) year lived experience or having worked in the addictions field for 2 to 4 years, but lacking certification as a CPRS, CRSP, NCPRSS or certification by the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) with a credential in peer recovery, the 7/1/20 requirement for peers having obtained one of these certifications shall be temporarily suspended until January 1, 2021 to allow peers who are pending certification time to complete the certification class room and/or testing requirements.

Independent clinics should continue to complete and sign the Peer Recovery Support Specialist attestation enclosed with the Peer Recovery Support Specialist Addendum.  Clinics must document the absence of the required certification for the enrolling Peer Recovery Support Specialist on the attestation and shall follow-up with the DXC Technology Provider Enrollment Unit prior to January 1, 2021 to provide the required certification.

If you have any questions concerning this Medicaid Alert, please contact DXC Technology Provider Services at 1-800-776-6334.