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MR Update #06-08: Budget Correction, Relocations, Restraint Bulletin, Allegheny Link, Cash & Counseling, Long-Term Living, Services Guide, Open Door Forum, Disability Research, ODEP, Transition Center, and Workshops
May 2, 2006

OMR Budget Correction
In PCPA’s March 1 Info information was provided regarding funding for 174 beds in Philadelphia. The correct information is that these are not new construction, they are existing homes which were modified and are referred to as the Philadelphia Bond beds. The notation in the Governor’s Blue Book has not been updated to show these are existing, not new facilities.

County Relocations
The Office of Mental Retardation (OMR) has released for immediate use the updated Individual Relocation Form to be used by all counties/administrative entities. A copy is available from Linda Drummond at PCPA.

Restraints Bulletin
The new Mental Retardation Bulletin addressing Elimination of Restraints through Positive Practices has been released by OMR. The purpose of the bulletin is to recommend practices that will assist in the elimination of the need for restraint. The bulletin does not eliminate the use of restraints as an emergency safety intervention.

OMR requests that providers share their knowledge and expertise on supporting individuals without the use of restraint by contacting the dual diagnosis point person at the local OMR Regional Office. An electronic copy of the bulletin is available from Linda Drummond at PCPA. PCPA is developing a position paper addressing restraint reduction and elimination across systems and looking at provider best practices which can be shared with members. Any PCPA member interested in sharing their expertise, please contact a member of the association policy staff.

Allegheny Link
The Governor’s Office of Health Care Reform project on Aging and Disability Resource Centers will open a new pilot program. Allegheny Link will have its public opening May 10 at 10:00 a.m. at One Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh.

The Aging and Disability Resource Center goal is to serve everyone needing long-term care without regard to age or disability, including older persons, persons with disabilities, and persons with mental illness and mental retardation. This includes those persons who may need long-term care services in the future and want to begin planning now, family members needing information on long-term services, and professionals working with individuals needing this care.

Cash & Counseling
Pennsylvania’s Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and US Health and Human Services grant to develop a Cash and Counseling initiative is being administered by the Governor’s Office of Health Care Reform. This project is an expanded model of consumer-directed support services beginning with those participating in the home and community-based waivers for the Department of Aging. The original intent was for this project to eventually include the Office of Mental Retardation and Office of Social Programs waiver recipients.

One of the challenges faced by this effort was that the model would increase waiver costs. The national program office provided technical assistance to the state’s Departments of Aging and Public Welfare on designing their service models to contain costs. This work plan was finalized in April. PCPA is a member of the Cash and Counseling Advisory Committee which will review the work plan in the near future.

Long-Term Living
Governor Rendell established the Long Term Living Council to lead continued reform of the state’s long-term living system and building on reform initiatives that have been developed over the last several years. One of the council’s goals is the establishment of a consistent eligibility assessment process and the removal of barriers to consumers with physical disabilities and aging issues receiving care and support in their homes. The shortened assessment form will be introduced statewide on May 15 by the Aging Program Directive process and is available to review at www.aging.state.pa.us/aging/lib/aging/loca_blank_with_indicators_4_26_06.pdf.

Pennsylvania Services Guide
The Pennsylvania Health and Human Services Resource Guide is available online at www.state.pa.us (PA Keyword "Resource Guide"). The 35-page guide offers information about health and safety programs, medical care and coverage options, housing and utilities assistance, and phone numbers for aging, transportation, mental health, and mental retardation programs.

Open Door Forum
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ New Freedom Initiative Open Door Forum will focus on Section 6086 of the Deficit Reduction Act. Section 6068, Expanded Access to Home and Community-Based Services for the Elderly and Disabled, offers states the opportunity to provide a comprehensive program of home and community-based services under the Medicaid State Plan as an optional service. Prior to this act these service could only be provided through section 1915(c) waivers. Unlike the waiver, there is no cost-neutrality test, and the program may serve persons who do not require an institutional level of care. The next Open Door Forum will overview Section 6086. To participate on May 8 at 1:30 p.m. dial 800-837-1935 and reference conference ID 8722262. To register for the remaining Open Door Forums access www.cms.hhs.gov/apps/mailinglists/default.asp?audience=4.

Disability Research Public Meeting
The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research at the US Department of Education is conducting a meeting to provide the Interagency Committee on Disability research with public input. Public comments are being solicited from service providers, individuals with disabilities, policy groups, rehabilitation groups, and advocacy organizations regarding the federal disability and rehabilitation research agenda. The meeting will take place May 23 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Capital Hilton Hotel, Washington, DC. All individuals planning to attend, including those presenting comments, must RSVP by May 9 to Robert Jaeger (robert.jaeger@ed.gov).

ODEP
The US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has redesigned its web site to provide information for adults with disabilities, businesses, employers, researchers, service providers, youth, and families. ODEP develops and influences disability related employment policy and practices for persons with disabilities. To receive their electronic newsletter or for information access www.dol.gov/odep.

Transition Center
The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center is funded through December 2010 by the US Department of Education to assist states in building their capacity to support and improve transition planning, services, and outcomes for youth with disabilities. For information access www.nsttac.org.

Workshops

  • May 22 – 25, Therapeutic Options Train the Trainer Certificate Program at Special People in Northeast, Philadelphia. The cost is $650 and details are available from Michael Partie at mpartie@therops.com.
  • June 2, Helping People with Mental Retardation Mourn at Elwyn Inc., Elwyn. Cost is $10 and details are available at 610-891-2331.

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