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Mental Retardation Update #04-01
January 14, 2004

Community Integration Grant
Franklin/Fulton and Cumberland/Perry Counties Mental Health/Mental Retardation Programs have issued a request for proposal for a Shippensburg-based project serving persons with mental retardation. The program will include community integration, skills enhancement, day trips, volunteer placements, work skills and other non-traditional community services. The proposed start date is July 1. Funding is through the Person Family Directed Supports waiver. Send a letter of interest and brief program description to Proposal Review Committee, Franklin/Fulton MH/MR, 425 Franklin Farm Lane, Chambersburg, PA 17201 by January 30, 2004.

Incident Management
HCSIS Incident Management redesign went live on January 4. So far 1,000 incidents have been reported: 159 restraints with 85 reports finalized, 149 were medication errors, 10 incidents were not approved by the county and 7 investigations have been finalized. There was a computer design issue, which gave the user CODE errors and this should be corrected by January 12.

*OMR is interested in provider feedback on the new design, including likes, dislikes, and glitches. Please share that information with Linda Drummond at PCPA.

IM Template
The Providers Quarterly Incident Management Template Meeting was held on January 9. OMR is designing, with provider input, the format for the quarterly and semi-annual incident management reports that will be sent to the Department. The purpose of the reports will be to analyze incidents and discuss interventions and improvements to the health and safety of consumers.

There will be five report sections, with the first three being initially required, while OMR further develops the last two. Sections will include:
1. Aggregate Incident Analysis
2. Aggregate Analysis of Investigations
3. Systemic Issues from Aggregate Analysis
4. Prevention Initiatives, and
5. Results of Prevention and Continuous Quality Improvement Initiatives.

Discussion involved suggestions on how providers can share ideas and what has been done to resolve Incident Management issues. The department’s Certified Investigators web site may be used for this purpose in the future. Also, OMR is working on tracking who is a Certified Investigator, who has done investigations, who needs re-certified, and training for administrative staff not performing investigations but supervising those who do.

**Provider volunteers are needed to help develop an EZ Incident Management reporting form for use when an agency reports no or very few incidents. Contact Linda Drummond at PCPA if you are interested in volunteering.

Criminal History Checks
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on a 6-1 decision stated that the grandfather clause in the Older Adults Protective Services Act infringed upon a person’s right-granted by the Constitution- to pursue an occupation and did not bear upon the legislature’s goal of protecting the elderly and disabled from being victimized. The law had prohibited convicted criminals from working in nursing homes, personal care homes, and similar institutions. It was ruled unconstitutional because it exempted convicts who were working for at least one year before the statute took effect.

MH/MR Advisory Committee
The Governor’s Mental Health and Mental Retardation Advisory Committee met on January 8. Updates were provided by OMHSAS Deputy Secretary Joan Erney and OMR Deputy Secretary Kevin Casey. Casey addressed the following:

  • The finalized state budget provided partial restoration of the Human Services Development Fund, which is used by some counties to provide transportation services to persons with mental retardation.
  • Community services waiting list continues to grow, but OMR has been able to not institutionalize anyone needing services, yet.
  • Requested budget for 2004-05 FY to include a Waiting List Initiative.
  • PAC Workgroups will present final recommendations to OMR this month on Self-Determination (individual budgets/plans), Workforce Development, Supports Coordination, and the Waiting List.
  • When determining individual budgets anticipate using AAMR Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) instead of the previously developed situational assessment.
  • Working with counties to offer more flexibility with OMR funds such as eliminating some of the categorical funding and flexibility between the two waivers.
  • Moving the system to very integrated community system with better day service options.


Promising Practices
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has sponsored the development of a series of promising practices reports on home and community-based services to assist states, in partnership with their disability and aging communities, to strengthen their community long term support systems. Access this information at www.cms.hhs.gov.

Advocacy Workshops
Providers may want to share this information with their families and consumers. Collective Advocacy Workshops to learn how to apply for up to $10,000 in Collective Advocacy Grants will be available at no charge from George Taylor at 800-684-3695 or taylor.taylor@verizon.net.

Federal Issues
The Bush Administration began leaking information on the President’s FY2005 budget proposal at an educational event in Tennessee. The budget to be released on February 2 will include requests for both IDEA and No Child Left Behind to receive $1 billion increases.

Senate Majority Leader Frist has release a tentative 2004 legislative calendar which includes the first business to be the 2004 FY Omnibus spending package (HR2673), which was passed in December by the House. The vote is scheduled January 20.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson has unveiled a comprehensive Web-site that will contain information about finding and applying for all Federal grant programs. (www.grants.gov)

January is Birth Defects Prevention Month. The National Birth Defects Prevention Network, American Heart Association and March of Dimes have developed a resource packet of materials to assist states and communities in planning a Birth Defects Prevention Campaign. Materials are available at www.nbdpn.org/NBDPN.

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