Webinar 24: Compensation Self-Check

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Originally Broadcast on Friday, February 12, 2015

12:00 Noon – 1:00 PM Eastern Time

Presented by Allen Daniels and Peter Ashenden

Description

The peer support specialist workforce has been growing and expanding since Medicaid established funding for these services in 2007. Absent from much of the research on the peer support specialist workforce has been a detailed national review of wages and compensation. In order to address this, two surveys were constructed. One was designed for peer support specialists to report their current compensation (N = 1,608). A second survey was developed as a comparison for organizations who employ peer specialists (N = 271). Non-probability sampling methods were used. The International Association of Peer Supporters (iNAPS) helped promote the dissemination of the surveys.

The findings of this study illustrate that there is variability among the current national structure for the wages of peer specialists. This includes significant differences in average compensation rates between those who work all different hours (part and full-time), and only full-time. There are also different wage rates among the types of organizations (consumer and peer run organizations, community behavioral health organizations, health care provider organizations, inpatient psychiatric facilities, and health plan and managed care organizations) that employ this workforce. A regional analysis also demonstrates geographic differences in compensation rates compared to the national averages. Inequities in compensation rates are also noted between male and female peer specialists. The implications for the findings of this study are discussed and include the need for greater attention and focus on the wages of the peer specialist workforce.

Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  • Understand differences among peer support specialist compensation.
  • Identify differences in the compensation rates paid to peer specialists based on the type of organization they work in.
  • Recognize the regional differences in compensation of peer specialists based on the states where they work.
  • Identify differences and inequities in compensation between male and female peer specialists
  • Understand how peer specialist compensation rates may be developed, and use national and regional data to advocate for individual employment benefits.

 SELF CHECK

QUESTION 1

Do most peer specialists and the organizations employing them report having established job descriptions?

  1. Organizations employing peer specialists report having job descriptions, but peer specialists report that they do not have established job descriptions
  2. Peer Specialists report that they have established job descriptions, but organizations employing them say they do not routinely have job descriptions
  3. Job descriptions are irrelevant because the work that peer specialists do cannot be structured into a job description
  4. Both peer specialists and the organizations that employ them report having established job descriptions

QUESTION 2

Based on the results of the National Survey of Compensation among Peer Specialists, are there differences in the compensation rates for males and females?

  1. Their compensation rates are about the same
  2. Females make more than males
  3. Males make more than females
  4. It is impossible to determine from the data presented

  QUESTION 3

Based on the national averages of compensation for peer specialists, community behavioral health organizations pay the highest rates of any of the organizations that employ this workforce?

  1. True
  2. False
  3. It is about the same

QUESTION 4 – RESEARCH QUESTION / ANSWER WITH YOUR CURRENT WAGE

Based on the national averages of compensation for peer specialists, the hourly wage that I receive are:

  1. Higher than the averages reported
  2. Lower than the averages reported
  3. About the same and the averages reported
  4. N/A – I am not paid to provide peer support

 (The above is a research question – the answer will be what is correct for you)

QUESTION 5 – RESEARCH QUESTION / ANSWER WITH YOUR CURRENT THOUGHTS

I believe that I can use the information presented in the national survey of compensation for peer specialists to help review my own wages and advocate for fair compensation in the organization where I work.

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. I am not sure
  4. N/A – I am not paid to provide peer support

  (The above is a research question – the answer will be what is correct for you)

Presenter Biography

Allen S, Daniels, Ed.D.

Dr. Daniels has comprehensive experience in behavioral healthcare leading both public and private clinical practices, managed behavioral healthcare programs, and as an active advocate for person-centered care. He has extensively published in the area of behavioral health policy including: managed care and group practice operations, quality improvement and clinical outcomes, behavioral healthcare workforce development, behavioral health and primary care integration, and peer support and person-centered care. Dr. Daniels is an independent behavioral health care consultant specializing in areas of health policy, payer systems, and consumer delivered services.  He is also a Senior Study Director for Westat, and Clinical Director for InfoMC.  Dr. Daniels retired as a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Public Health Sciences at the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine.  He has been the Executive Vice President and Director of Scientific Affairs for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). He is a graduate of The University of Chicago School of Social Services Administration, and The University of Cincinnati College of Education.

Peter Ashenden

Peter Ashenden is the director of consumer affairs at for Optum’s behavioral solutions business.  Ashenden is responsible for developing and implementing behavioral health programs that help people with mental illness achieve long-term recovery and resiliency. He is also a mental health consumer. Before joining Optum in 2010, Ashenden served as Executive Vice President, and then as the President and CEO, for the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA). Prior to his work at the DBSA, he was the Executive Director of the Mental Health Empowerment Project (MHEP) for 12 years. Peter is certified by Mary Ellen Copeland to train recipients of mental health services in the Wellness Recovery Action Plan, as well as a member of the Board of the Mary Ellen Copeland’s Wellness Recovery Center. Additionally, Peter is a member of the Board of iNAPS (International Association of Peer Supporters), The Mental Health Empowerment Project, and is a member of the Consumer Advisory Board for the Center for Mental Health Services a division of SAMHSA.

 Click here to download a PDF of the Presentation Slides