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MR Update #05-01: COMMCARE Waiver, Restraint Focus Groups, College of Direct Support, Supports Coordination Forums, CMS Covers Transitional Costs
January 12, 2005

COMMCARE Waiver
On December 6, PCPA provided an Info that overviewed the Department of Public Welfare Office of Social Program’s (OSP) COMMCARE Waiver for individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI). OSP is seeking providers to serve individuals in this home and community based waiver program. Interested providers may enroll through the three regional administrative entities (see 12/6/04 Info). COMMCARE has established their own maximum rates and provider rates are negotiable for services. Individuals have plans developed and logged onto HCSIS that verifies the allowable expenditure when the provider bills through PROMISe. For additional information contact Linda Drummond at PCPA.

Restraints Focus Groups
The Office of Mental Retardation (OMR) and Office of Mental Health and SUbstance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) dual diagnosis focus forums are being held across the state. The goal for these focus groups is to ask direct support staff to make recommendations based on their experience on how to deal with challenging situations without resorting to restraints. The first day of each session will be for families and consumers; the second day is for direct support staff. To register contact Linda Arguedas at Contract Consultants 717-731-6770. Dates and locations are:

  • February 10 - 11 at the Woodlands, Wilkes-Barre, northeast region;
  • February 28 and March 1 at Contract Consultants, New Cumberland, central region;
  • March 21 - 22 at the Holiday Inn, Fort Washington, southeast region; and
  • March 31 and April 1 at Comfort Inn, Meadville, western region.

SSI and Department of Treasury
As of January 1 the state supplemental payments of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are being dispersed separately from other benefit payments. The Department of Treasury began the mailing of these separate checks last week. However, an error was detected in the process. When a county is the representative payee for an individual who receives an SSI payment of $27.40 or less the check was sent with the name of the individual omitted. The Department of Treasury has sent a letter with the relevant information to verify the check. If an agency needs information regarding this procedure contact Janet Bush at 717-772-0732.

College of Direct Support
OMR recognizes the first anniversary of the state's use of the College of Direct Support, the web based training for Direct Care Professionals. Data shows there are 8,711 individuals and 84 entities enrolled in the service. New courses being added include: Cultural Competence; Medication Delivery; Communications; and Aging and Developmental Disabilities.

OMR will continue to hold user groups that were started at the request of providers. Local demonstrations are available from OMR Consultant Deb Daulton at ddaulton@pattan.k12.pa.us.

Certified Investigators
OMR has placed the Re-certification Schedule on the Certified Investigators web site for all course presently scheduled through June 2005. For details access www.omrinvestigators.com.

Supports Coordination Forums
OMR is conducting additional supports coordination forums across the state. Sessions open include:

  • January 18 at Holiday Inn, Washington
  • January 21 at The Arc of Crawford County, Meadville
  • January 24 at Tokishi Training Building, Wellsboro
  • January 25 at Lehigh County Government Center, Allentown
  • February 3 at The Arc of Blair County, Altoona.

To register or for details contact Rebecca Roberts at ocs_registrationsrr@tiu11.org or call 877-518-9597.

HCSIS Update
HCSIS Release 4.2.0 will go live on January 18. Targeted Service Management reconciliation will be available with this update. Training sessions will be held in January for supports coordinators. Remote data entry, allowing data entry for case comments when not connected to the Internet or HCSIS, will begin in January with trainings for supports coordinators being held January 24 - 27 using PlaceWare.

PROMISe Pilots
OMR announces 15 counties will be participating in wave two of the HCSIS financial management and PROMISe implementation. (Mercer, Allegheny, Forest/Warren, Erie, Venango, Butler, Clearfield/Jefferson, Cumberland/Perry, Northumberland, Lebanon, Blair, Lancaster, Bradford/Sullivan, Schuylkill, Philadelphia).

ACCESS Plus
The Department of Public Welfare will be implementing an enhanced primary care case management program, known as ACCESS Plus, for Medical Assistance recipients who reside in 42 counties and who are currently being served by the fee for services (FFS) delivery system. This includes those enrolled in the Family Care Network.

Targeted to begin March 1, enrollees will choose their own primary care providers, while receiving the advantages of active care coordination, case management, and disease management services.

Consumer/Family Training Partnership
Temple University’s Institute on Disabilities has received a grant from OMR to establish the Pennsylvania Statewide Consumer and Family Training Partnership. The project will provide training and technical assistance to families and people with disabilities that is:

  • Person- and family-focused,
  • Culturally competent,
  • Focused on capacity building and leadership development, and
  • Efficient and cost-effective.

For additional information contact Diane Bryen at 800-204-7428.

CMS Covers Transition Services
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted on its web site a Q&A document clarifying the amount of community transition services expenses that a state can claim on its federal match under home and community-based services waivers. States may secure federal matching funds for one-time, transitional expenses such as security deposits (not exceeding the equivalent of two months rent). Funds are not available to cover rent. Access the Q&A at www.cms.hhs.gov/newfreedom/transitions.pdf.

FMAP Percentages Change
The United States Department of Health and Human Services has published the recalculated Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) for fiscal year 2005. These percentages are effective October 1, 2004 through September 30, 2005. Pennsylvania received a decrease of .92%. The notice is available in the Federal Register at http://a257.g.akamaitec.net/7/257/2422/14mar20010800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2003/03-30095.htm.

Rosemary Kennedy
Rosemary Kennedy, sister of John F. Kennedy, died last week at the institution where she has lived since 1949 at Colette School for Exceptional Children in Jefferson, Wisconsin. She was born with mild mental retardation and underwent a lobotomy in 1941. She was the inspiration for the development of Special Olympics founded by her sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

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