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MR Update #06-14: Market Basket Increase, OMR Updates, Work Incentive, Transition Grant, Wheelchair/Scooter Repairs, Seminars/Workshops
November 9, 2006

CMS Increase
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a 3.3 percent market basket increase for Medicare payment rates for home health services for calendar year 2007. Home health payment rates are updated annually by the market basket percentage increase which measures inflation in the prices of an appropriate mix of goods and services included in providing home health services. Section 5201(c) of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 provides for an adjustment to this index for 2007 and subsequent years.

This is the index Pennsylvania House Bill 1813 included to request an annual increase to mental health and mental retardation community services. While passed by the House and the Senate, this legislation was vetoed by the governor. If the legislature does not override the governor’s veto, PCPA and other members of the Mental Health/Mental Retardation Coalition will advocate for reintroduction of this legislation in the new session beginning in January 2007.

OMR Updates
The Office of Mental Retardation (OMR) has implemented new initiatives and trainings and drafted Mental Retardation bulletins available for public comment.

  • Deloitte Consulting will review and analyze rates that have been developed by providers and entered into HCSIS;
  • Deloitte will conduct in-depth interviews, analysis, and training sessions on rates and policy;
  • Provider Kick-off and Enrollment Workshops are being implemented for providers not enrolled in PROMISe;
  • Draft bulletins with comments due by November 30 are Provider Billing and Third Party Insurance;
  • The College of Direct Support is now offering course on Individual Support Plan; and
  • Discounts are available for College of Direct Support for providers registering to use this system.

WIPA
Pennsylvania’s Work Incentive Planning Assistance Program (WIPA) will be implemented by AHEDD, Goodwill Industries of Keystone Area, and Pennsylvania Protection and Advocacy. The program targets Social Security Administration beneficiaries ages 14-64, who are working or planning future employment. It is designed to complement employment initiatives such as Ticket to Work, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, and individualized education planning for transition aged youth. For additional information contact John Miller at AHEDD (717-763-0968 or john.miller@ahedd.org).

AAMR
The American Association on Mental Retardation (AAMR) will change its name effective January 1, 2007, to American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD). This establishes a new standard in disability terminology and makes way for a more socially acceptable way of addressing people with intellectual disabilities.

On November 15 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. AAMR will offer a teleconference, Architecture and the Environment: Eliminating Barriers to Participation. This no-cost teleconference can be accessed by dialing 888-880-8975, Conference ID#: 8100577. RSVP with a quick email to DCroser@aamr.org. The next teleconference will be held on December 13 is Structural Supports for Agencies and Staff.

Transition Grant
A state grant for Pennsylvania Youth in Transition (PAYT) project is now available on the commonwealth web site. The resource booklet provides assistance in building community partnerships in regard to the project. The grant is focused on transitioning dropouts and youth aging out of foster care into educational options that lead to post secondary education and careers. A bidders’ conference call will be held November 16; proposals are due by December 15. Details are available at www.paworkforce.state.pa.us; access “Governor Rendell’s Strategy for Building a Skilled Workforce” and scroll to PAYT documents.

Disabilities Law Project
Pennsylvania Protection and Advocacy and the Disabilities Law Project have a combined intake team to assist individuals on Medical Assistance or Medicare with paying for repairs to or for new wheelchairs or scooters. Individuals may not be asked to pay for these services and may contact ppa@ppainc.org for assistance.

Seminars/Workshops

  • November 29-30: How to Start a Lifesharing Program, at ACCESS Services, Bethlehem. Cost is $125 per person and details are available from Fitzmaurice Community Services, lhoag@fitzmaurice.org.
  • December 4-6: Real Self-Determination Means Freedom, at Hilton in Harrisburg. Speaking for Ourselves Annual Conference details are available at info@speaking.org or 800-867-3330.
  • May 4, 2007: Philadelphia Conference on Developmental Disabilities is accepting proposals for workshops and poster sessions. Proposals may be sent to Marty Hudson, hudsonm@email.chop.edu or 215-590-7205.

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