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Bureau of Human Services Licensing Update
February 7, 2013

In light of the recent presentation by Director Ron Melusky, Department of Public Welfare (DPW) Bureau of Human Services Licensing (BHSL) to PCPA Mental Health Committee members, the following updates are provided:

  • Phase III of the licensing transition includes transfer of residential licensing functions for Chapter 5310, Community Residential Rehabilitation; Chapter 5320, Long-Term Structured Residences; and residential treatment facilities to BHSL between February 1 and March 15. Phase II included the transfer of Chapter 2600, Personal Care Homes among other provider types.
  • Beginning February 1 the annual licensure renewal process will change with issuance of a renewal license immediately upon receipt of a renewal application, without waiting for annual inspection results. This change is intended to alleviate risk management and operational concerns related to licensure expiration due to inspection scheduling and processing timelines. BHSL will conduct an inspection at least annually and any resulting enforcement actions may impact licensure status. The announcement is available. Address questions to the BHSL Provider Support Hotline at 866-503-3926 or ra-pwarlheadquarters@state.pa.us.
  • The Regulatory Compliance Guide for Personal Care Homes is available. This guide was issued in October 2012. The guides are to be updated quarterly.
  • Personal care home/assisted living residence operators are advised that as of March 1 all Social Security and other federal benefit payments will be delivered electronically to individuals, either through direct deposit to a designated account, or to a “Direct Express Debit Mastercard” account. The Department of the Treasury advises nursing/assisted living/personal care homes to document authorization by individuals to deposit funds directly into a resident trust account by signature on the FMS 1200 enrollment form. If the provider serves as representative payee (form SSA-11-BK filed with the Social Security Administration) the provider should complete the FMS 1200 or log on to the Go Direct web site (http://www.godirect.org) to complete the enrollment process on behalf of the individual. Individuals who manage their own finances may complete the FMS 1200 online at http://www.godirect.org, call the US Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Center (800-333-1795), or visit their bank or credit union. Hardship waivers may be granted to the electronic payment provisions.
  • There have been two fires in licensed residential settings within the past month, resulting from a malfunctioning heating/air conditioning device that was recalled due to safety issues. BHSL suggests that providers that use a GE Zoneline┬« packaged-terminal air conditioner and packaged-terminal heat (PTAC) unit that was manufactured prior to April 2011 check the web site to identify whether the model was recalled and take appropriate action.

Contact Betty Simmonds with questions.

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