June 24, 2021

Cassidy, Cortez Masto Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Expand Peer Counseling

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) introduced the Promoting Effective and Empowering Recovery Services (PEERS) in Medicare Act of 2021 to expand access to peer support services for mental health and substance use disorders. The legislation would ensure that primary care physicians can bill peer support treatment to Medicare to make this service more accessible. 

“COVID has been tough on people’s emotions. This legislation allows peer support to be added to the options a senior has if she needs mental health support,” said Dr. Cassidy.

“Peer support specialists are a proven way for patients to get support with mental and behavioral health challenges, and I want them to be more accessible for Nevadans who need them,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “This legislation will boost mental health support for vulnerable people across the state and encourage doctors to facilitate this service for patients.” 

The PEERS in Medicare Act of 2021 has been endorsed by the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), Mental Health America (MHA), the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), the National Association of Peer Supporters (NAPS), and the Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness (ABHW).