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MR Update #06-01: PCPA Rate Training, OMR Trainings, Lifesharing Directory, Public Forums, Medicare Part D, State of the States, MR Bulletin, HCSIS Update and President’s Initiative
January 13, 2006

PCPA MR Rate Training
PCPA is hosting training February 9 at the Four Points Sheraton, Harrisburg to address the changes in the mental retardation system from program funding to fee-for-service. From Placement to Payment: Developing Rates for MR Services will provide an in-depth review of fiscal and operational implications of the Mental Retardation Rate Setting Bulletin, discuss current approaches to effectively determining true operating costs, explore the proposed rate approval and provider dispute resolution processes, and identify steps necessary to manage this new reimbursement methodology.

The training is available to the public. For details on cost and registration access the link above. Questions may be directed to Kris Ericson, training and conference services coordinator.

OMR Trainings
The Office of Mental Retardation (OMR) has scheduled two Internet and video trainings for February 16 at locations across the state. The morning session is OMR Update: Changing Practices to Address Issues Identified by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the afternoon is Supports Coordination Services Information Session on New Office of Mental Retardation Bulletin. For registration details email ocs_registrationsrr@tiu11.org or Linda Drummond.

Lifesharing Directory
OMR has developed and disseminated a Lifesharing Directory for Fiscal Year 2005-06. The directory contains information on the lifesharing population, costs, services, and contacts in most county mental health/mental retardation programs. For an electronic copy contact Linda Drummond at PCPA.

Disability Forums
The Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council co-sponsored public forums across the state in October 2005 to learn what issues were of critical importance to people with disabilities, families, advocates, and others. Those issues most discussed were:

  • Training in all areas impacting individuals lives,
  • Improved self-directed support services,
  • Increased programs and funding for mental health concerns,
  • Various forms of advocacy,
  • Educational issues for children and those transitioning from school to work, and
  • Increased opportunities for community inclusion.

Medicare Part D
The Medicare Part D Prescription Plan is in effect with some difficulties; people are not getting medications refilled properly or are being overcharged for deductibles they are not required to cover. The New York Times indicated that Pennsylvania has joined 13 other states in taking emergency action to help low-income beneficiaries struggling to fill prescriptions. Governor Rendell said the state would pay costs exceeding $5 for low-income participants until the problem is fixed by the federal government.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, persons considered dual eligible should be offered the following:

  • Drug plans should be providing a “first fill” or 30-day supply of mediations not covered on formularies,
  • Dual eligibles are not required to pay deductibles or co-pays above $1 for generic or $3 for other brands and those residing in ICFs/MR or a nursing facility are not required to pay co-pays,
  • Pharmacists should use CMS software to resolve enrollment issues or contact the Pharmacy Help Line,
  • Beneficiaries should call 800-633-4227 with any problems, and
  • Multilingual help lines are available: Korean 800-582-4259; Chinese 800-582-4218; Vietnamese 800-582-4336.

OMR’s medical director has disseminated a paper offering guidance around particular scenarios that might occur for people who are dual eligible. For a copy contact Linda Drummond.

State of the States
The newly released State of the States in Developmental Disabilities: 2005 indicates that nationwide spending on mental retardation/developmental disability (MR/DD) services totaled $38.55 billion in 2004, a 5.7 percent increase from the $34.48 billion spent in 2002. All states except Mississippi spent more money on community services than on institutional care. It is anticipated that demand for services will rise as individual’s age, especially new services for those currently living with elderly family caregivers. In 2004 2.8 million of the 4.6 million with MR/DD received residential support from family members with one-quarter of those living with parents at least 60 years old. For information on ordering this publication access www.cu.edu/ColemanInstitute/stateofthestates.

MR Bulletin
The Office of Mental Retardation has released Mental Retardation Bulletin #00-06-01, Home and Community Based Service Eligibility/Ineligibility/Change Form, (PA 1768) to explain the new form that will be used by Home and Community Based Service agencies to inform the County Assistance Offices of applicant/recipient’s changes for these programs. For a copy contact Linda Drummond at PCPA.

HCSIS Update
The Office of Mental Retardation has released the latest HCSIS Project Update and highlights include:

  • HCSIS Release 5.3.0 will go live January 14 and include the addition of Microsoft Excel as a report format option,
  • A new screen for deleting approved ISPs accessible to state and county Support Coordination Oversight and agency administrators,
  • Clarification for reporting of deaths,
  • All PUNs and Supports Coordination Individual Monitoring forms that have not been submitted and finalized by early March will not be converted or accessible once the new functionality has been implemented in HCSIS Release 5.4.0.

The HCSIS HelpDesk may be reached at 866-444-1264.

President’s Faith-Based Initiative
On February 7 the White House, in cooperation with other departments, will host a targeted workshop at the Harrisburg Hilton to help faith-based and community organizations learn more about President Bush’s Faith-based and Community Initiative. The event is geared toward social service groups that apply for government funding. The conference is free but registration is required. For additional information call 202-456-6718, email fbci@dtihq.com or visit www.fbci.gov.

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