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IDD Updates - Week of December 15, 2014
December 19, 2014

ABLE Act
On December 16, the US Senate passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which passed the US House earlier this month. ABLE will allow individuals with disabilities which were identified before age 26 to create tax-exempt savings accounts that can be used for living expenses. The annual contribution to these accounts are $14,000 per year. The first $100,000 in the ABLE account is exempt from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) individual resource limit of $2,000. If the ABLE account exceeds $100,000, the individual would be suspended from SSI benefits, but he/she would continue to be eligible for Medicaid. Additional information is available at the National Disability Institute website.

CMS Rule Changes
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the final Home and Community Based Services Waivers rule changes related to non-residential settings. A toolkit is available which has two new components:

  • Exploratory questions to Assist States in Assessment of Non-Residential Home and Community Based Service Settings
  • HCBS Final Regulations 42 CRF Part 441: Questions and Answers Regarding Home and Community-Based Settings

ACCSES has released a Preliminary Analysis of these waiver rule changes.

 

December 16, 2014

ODP Update
The Office of Developmental Programs has released the following information:

  • Announcement #094-14: Save the Date for January 7, Webinar: Vacancy Factor Exception Process.

SCO Issue
At the December 4 RCPA Supports Coordination Organization Committee meeting, Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) staff was presented with an issue regarding Service Notes input into HCSIS, specifically involving the “Credit To” field. Sonya Hipple of ODP shared this issue with Deloitte; they were unable to replicate for correction. Hipple is requesting that Supports Coordinators experiencing this issue email the names or MCI numbers of the Service Notes to her.

Adult Protective Services
The new vendor for Adult Protective Services (APS) will be operational in March. A notice will be sent to providers, giving specific instructions about reporting for APS. Until any changes are announced, providers will continue to handle incident reporting as they do currently.

Healthy PA Bulletin
The Department of Human Services has released Medical Assistance Bulletin #99-14-10, Healthy PA Benefit Plans.

CLS Updates
On November 27, there was a release in the Certification and Licensing System (CLS) that started enforcing the Master Provider Index (MPI) Punctuation Standards introduced in March of 2014 in HCSIS and MPI. This prevented most providers from being able to submit applications, civil rights compliance questionnaires, or process plans of corrections, due to prohibited characters in the Legal Entity (LE) Name/Address, Location Name, or Location Address fields. The Bureau of Human Services Licensing have been working with the system developer to help resolve this. Over the weekend, the developer deployed a data scrub that would remove all the special characters from existing applications in CLS, which will allow them to be processed.

There will be another data fix shortly, to alleviate the issue for the remaining providers. Providers with multiple service types in multiple regions may still experience issues, as this fix only affected the active applications, but did not correct provider’s profiles of all locations in the system. A data fix for providers with special characters in their LE name and address should occur as soon as December 19. However, providers with special characters in their Location name and address will receive an error message and need to submit an application in CLS to correct this. To do this, select both Change of Facility Name and Change of Facility Postal Address application types, using the CTRL key on keyboard. Then remove any special characters or follow the MPI punctuation standards, found in the HCSIS Provider Access Updates Tip Sheet on pages 25 and 26.

Questions may be directed to Robert Robinson, Licensing Administration, at 717-705-0382.

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