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MR Update #04-32: ICF Development Bulletin, DPW Reimbursement Rate, Assistive Technology Act, PCPA Leadership Seminar
November 5, 2004

Draft MR Bulletin
Draft Mental Retardation (MR) bulletin, ICF/MR Development Policy, has been reissued and released for written comment by January 2, 2005. The purpose of the bulletin is to clarify longstanding policy of the Office of Mental Retardation (OMR) regarding Intermediate Care Facilities/Mental Retardation (ICF/MR) development including criteria for approval of new ICF/MR programs, conversion of state funded programs to ICF/MR, and conversion of ICFs/MR to the Medicaid waiver. Written comments are to be sent to Frank Pierce, Bureau of MR Program Support. For an electronic copy of the bulletin contact either Lyndsey Wanich or Linda Drummond at PCPA.

Reimbursement Rate
PCPA has become aware of OMR making different payments to providers - so far just for Targeted Service Management (TSM) reimbursement - based on the changing federal financial participation (FFP) rate. The reimbursement rate is being based on the "claims paid" date rather than the rate at reimbursement effective dates. The FFP before September 30 was 54.76%, but if the claim was paid after October 1 the FFP changed to 53.84%. If providers are finding this occurring in other service areas, please share this information with Linda Drummond at PCPA.

Assistive Technology
On October 28 President Bush signed the Assistive Technology Act of 2004 which will ensure that person with disabilities across the country have access to the technology they need to help them be independent in school, home, work, and the community. For additional information access www.ataporg.org.

HHS Awards $31 Million
Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary Tommy Thompson announced $31 million in grants to 31 states to help people with disabilities or long-term illnesses live in their home and participate in community life. The grants are part of the President’s New Freedom Initiative to remove barriers to community living for persons with disabilities.

Pennsylvania received the following:

  • $300,000 to the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) for mental health systems transformation to support consumer-directed, evidence-based practices for management and recovery; and
  • $893,340 to the Office of health Care reform for integrating long-term supports with affordable housing to coordinate affordable, accessible housing options with long-term support services.

OMAP Web Site
Recent updates have been made to the DPW Office of Medical Assistance Programs (OMAP) web site (www.dpw.state.pa.us) and include:

  • Dental Provider Billing Issues Log
  • Professional Provider Issue Log

Seminar
Workforce and Labor Relations: Solving Today’s Toughest HR Problems on December 3 at PaTTAN in Pittsburgh. PCPA offers this leadership seminar addressing positive employee relations and legal issues. For information contact PCPA at 717-657-7078 or info@paproviders.org.

Resources:
1. Alzheimer’s drug and Down Syndrome: A study done by Duke University Medical Center shows that a drug (Aricept: donepezil hydrochloride) already approved for treating patients with Alzheimer’s disease may also boost language skills in children with Down Syndrome. For a copy of the press release access www.dukemednews.org/news.

2. Job settings fact sheet: The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has released a fact sheet on applying the Americans with Disabilities Act to persons with intellectual disabilities in the workplace. For a copy access www.eeoc.gov/facts/intellectual_disabilities.html.

New OMR Committees
Last month PCPA requested member assistance in volunteering for a variety of new OMR committees. The volunteer opportunities still available to offer input into OMR policy and to represent PCPA include these quality management subcommittees:

  • Access
  • Assistive Technology
  • Customer Satisfaction and Outcomes
  • Employment
  • Mental Health Support Process
  • Person Centered Service Planning
  • Positive Health Practices
  • Safeguards
  • Statewide Incident Review

If you have already submitted your name to Linda Drummond at PCPA to volunteer it has been sent to OMR, which is just starting to develop the committees. Most have not officially met.

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