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Certified Peer Specialist Services

Revised: 03-22-2016

  • Certified Peer Specialist Services
  • Eligible Providers
  • Eligible Recipients
  • Covered Services
  • Noncovered Services
  • Authorization Requirements
  • Billing
  • Legal References
  • Certified Peer Specialist Services

    Certified Peer Specialist Services (CPSS) are specific rehabilitative services emphasizing the acquisition, development and enhancement of skills needed by an individual with a mental illness to move forward in their recovery. These services are self-directed and person-centered with a focus on recovery. CPSS are identified in a treatment plan or an Individualized Service Plan (ISP) and are characterized by a partnering approach between the certified peer specialist (CPS) and the person who receives the services

    The Role of the Certified Peer Specialist

    A CPS uses a non-clinical approach that helps recipients discover their strengths and develop their own unique recovery goals. The CPS models wellness, personal responsibility, self-advocacy, and hopefulness through appropriate sharing of his or her story.

    Eligible Providers

    Certified peer specialists are employed in agencies approved to provide peer services within the following mental health rehabilitation services:

  • • Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)
  • • Intensive Residential Rehabilitative Services (IRTS)
  • • Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services (ARMHS)
  • • Crisis Response Services
  • Minnesota has two levels of certified peer specialists: Level I and Level II.


    Certified Peer Specialist Level I
    Level I peer specialists must meet the following criteria:

  • • Be at least 21 years of age
  • • Have a high school diploma, GED or equivalent
  • • Have a primary diagnosis of mental illness
  • • Is a current or former consumer of mental health services
  • • Demonstrates leadership and advocacy skills
  • • Successfully completes the DHS approved Certified Peer Specialist training and certification exam
  • Certified Peer Specialist Level II
    Level II peer specialists must meet all requirement of a Level I CPS and one or more of the following criteria:

  • • Is qualified as a mental health practitioner
  • • Has at least 6,000 hours of supervised experience in the delivery of peer services to people with mental illness
  • • Has at least 4,000 hours of supervised experience in the delivery of services to people with mental illness and an additional 2,000 hours of supervised experience in the delivery of peer services to people with mental illness
  • Individuals who are interested in pursuing work as a certified peer specialist must complete the 76-hour training that has been approved by the commissioner. Certification is valid for two years from the date of certification. In addition to the training and certification, certified peers must complete 30 hours of continuing education related to peer support every two years. A CPS on a crisis stabilization team must complete at least 30 hours of crisis intervention and stabilization training during their first two years on the team.


    A CPS Level I must meet the following supervision requirements:

  • • Be supervised by a mental health professional during the first 2,000 hours of employment Receive direct onsite observation while providing peer services as follows:
  • • Newly hired workers: at least 6 hours per 40 hours for the first 160 hours
  • • Workers in continued employment: at least 6 hours every six months
  • • Have a mental health professional or practitioner review and co-sign progress notes
  • A CPS Level II must follow the supervision requirements for a mental health practitioner.

    Eligible Recipients

    Recipients must meet the following to receive CPSS:

  • • Be aged 18 or older
  • • Receive ACT, ARMHS, IRTS or Crisis services
  • Covered Services

    The following activities are covered as CPSS:

  • • Education and skill-building, including but not limited to the following:
  • • Wellness planning
  • • Crisis planning
  • • Advanced Psychiatric Directives
  • • Self-advocacy skills including connecting to professional services when appropriate
  • • Services that help recipients to do the following:
  • • Identify their strengths and to use their strengths to reach their treatment goals.
  • • Identify and overcome barriers to participation in community resources
  • • Connect with resources, including:
  • • Visiting community resources to assist them in becoming familiar with potential opportunities
  • • Teaching and modeling the skills needed to successfully utilize community resources
  • • Building relationships and encouraging community-based activities, such as:
  • • Work
  • • Relationships
  • • Physical activity
  • • Self-directed hobbies
  • Transition to Community Living (TCL) services when working for a certified Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Service (ARMHS) provider
  • Noncovered Services

    The following services are not covered as certified peer specialist services:

  • • Transportation
  • • Services that are performed by volunteers
  • • Household tasks, chores, or related activities such as laundering clothes, moving, housekeeping, and grocery shopping
  • • Time spent “on call” and not delivering services to clients
  • • Job-specific skills services, such as on-the-job training
  • • Case management
  • • Outreach to potential clients
  • • Room and board
  • • Service by providers that are not approved to provide CPSS as part of their ARMHS, ACT, IRTS or crisis stabilization services
  • Authorization Requirements

    Authorization is required for more than 300 hours per calendar year combined total of H0038, H0038-U5, and H0038-HQ.


    Entities eligible to bill for certified peer specialists are:

  • • ARMHS providers
  • • Adult crisis service providers
  • CPSS provided within an ACT team or IRTS facilities are included in the daily rate and may not be billed separately.

    Certified Peer Specialist Services (CPSS) Benefits



    Brief Description


    Service Limitations


    Self-help / Peer Services by Level I Certified Peer Specialist

    15 min

    Authorization is required for more than 300 hours per calendar year combined total of H0038, H0038 U5, and H0038 HQ


    Self-help / Peer Services by Level II Certified Peer Specialist


    Self-help / Peer Services in a group setting

    Legal References

    Minnesota Statutes 245.461 to 245.468 Minnesota Comprehensive Adult Mental Health Act
    Minnesota Statutes 245.462
    Minnesota Statutes 256B.0615
    Mental Health Certified Peer Specialist

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