Family run organizations across the country are lead providers of peer support services for children, youth, and young adults affected by serious emotional, behavioral, and mental health challenges and their families. The mission of most family run organizations includes family support, education, public awareness, and local and state policy advocacy to ensure effective, evidence-based services are available for families impacted by behavioral health challenges.

The Affordable Care Act provides a critical opportunity for family run organizations to expand their scope, achieve sustainable funding, and become established Medicaid providers of family and youth peer support services. This resource provides guidance to family run organizations that are considering whether to become Medicaid providers, and uses examples from three states – Arizona, Maryland, and Rhode Island – to illustrate key aspects of this decision and process. The guide is organized into five sections:

  1. Before Becoming a Medicaid Provider – Weighing the Options;
  2. Understanding State Medicaid Programs;
  3. Working with State and Local Governments and Provider Systems;
  4. Understanding Key Staffing Considerations; and
  5. Establishing Medicaid Billing and Rate-Setting Processes.

The guide also includes an agency readiness tool to assess an organization’s preparedness for becoming a Medicaid provider, as well as an at-a-glance list of pros and cons to consider. Family run organizations can use the information in this resource to better understand the implications and opportunities of becoming Medicaid providers of family and youth peer support services.