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Peer Support Specialists Drive Value as Behavioral Health Providers Embrace New Workforce

Peer support services are rapidly gaining mainstream acceptance thanks to recent federal initiatives, new reimbursement opportunities and the fallout from the opioid crisis.

Peers have a unique ability to drive sustained patient engagement, industry insiders said at Behavioral Health Business’ VALUE conference. This makes the peer support model cost-effective for providers looking to shift away from fee-for-service models and toward value-based care.

“Pretty much every person who is getting treatment for a mental health or substance use condition will benefit from peer support,” Shrenik Jain, founder and CEO of Marigold Health, said at BHB’s VALUE conference.

Boston-based Marigold employs peer specialists and recovery coaches and embeds them with partner providers, including outpatient MAT programs, residential treatment and primary care groups. It also operates a technology platform where members can communicate with each other in anonymous forums moderated by peer specialists.

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