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OMHSAS Sends RTF Regulations to the IRRC
October 13, 2010

 On October 7, the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) filed proposed regulations on Residential Treatment Facilities with the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC).  The proposed regulations will be published in the October 23 Pennsylvania Bulletin.  Public comments are due by November 22. For more information or to view the proposed regulations, access http://www.irrc.state.pa.us/Regulations/RegInfo.cfm?IRRCNo=2878.

PCPA will review the proposed regulation. Members are encouraged to send comment to the IRRC and copy those comments to Connell O’Brien at PCPA. A notice is forthcoming to members for a meeting/conference call to discuss the proposed regulations, responses, and comments to the IRRC and DPW.

Major components of the proposed regulations provided by the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) include:

  • Enhanced staff-to-resident ratios and higher staff qualifications to enhance the quality of care;
  • Accreditation by an accrediting body approved by the department;
  • Paid family advocate on staff at the residential treatment facility;
  • Family participation requirements;
  • More stringent rules for storage, use, and administration of medications;
  • More explicit standards to limit the use of restrictive procedures;
  • A maximum capacity of four units of 12 beds each, for a total of 48 beds; and
  • Eight-bed non-accredited facilities not located on a larger campus can become licensed as Community Residential Rehabilitation group homes.

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