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MR Update #07-04: State Budget and Office of Developmental Programs, County and Provider Contract, Autism RFI, Dental Care, Categorical Consolidation, Trainings and Seminars
February 9, 2007

March is Nation Mental Retardation Awareness Month
Take time to recognize and celebrate the skills, abilities and accomplishments
of persons with intellectual and cognitive disabilities.


2007/08 State Budget
PCPA released its FY 2007/08 Pennsylvania budget analysis following the governor’s budget address February 6. A copy is available to members in the Legislative Affairs section. Highlights for mental retardation services include:

  • Three percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for community-based services;
  • Two percent COLA for Intermediate Care Facilities for the Mentally Retarded;
  • An additional $29.3 million to increase by 3,428 the number of persons receiving community services, including expanding supported employment and vocational training and 800 students leaving the special education system; and
  • Autism Services, included under the mental retardation budget, with a $1.9 million increase to serve an additional 100 individuals in home and community-based care.

At the budget overview meeting after the governor’s address, Secretary of Public Welfare Estelle Richman stated the Office of Mental Retardation (OMR) would become the Office of Developmental Programs. It would include everything currently under OMR, the Bureau of Autism Spectrum Disorder, the acquired brain injury program, and cerebral palsy/non-mental retardation. Kevin Casey will be the Deputy Secretary.

AE/Provider Contract
OMR has released the County/Administrative Entities (AE) and Waiver Provider contract to be used for fiscal year 2007/08. This contract was developed by negotiations between OMR and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The contract applies to the eligible portion of waiver funding only. Ineligible costs are not included in the contract because CMS wants the contract to relate solely to Medicaid eligible funds.

The county/AE is expected to initiate the contracting process and must implement one standard contract with all current waiver providers effective July 1. For an electronic copy of the contract contact Linda Drummond.

Autism RFI
The Department of Public Welfare’s Autism Affairs program has proposed an Autism Capitated Assistance Program (ACAP) to deliver services for persons age 21 and older with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The goal is to use ACAP funds to provide Medical Assistance recipients with ASD and their families with access to a comprehensive set of services that are delivered and managed by organizations that understand the needs of this unique population. These will include physician, facility-based and community-based supports, and behavioral health services. Implementation of the proposed program is being considered for early 2007 contingent upon CMS approval. A Request for Information (RFI) is being used to solicit the interest level and qualifications of potential ACAP Providers. For additional information contact Sharon Wilkes (swilkes@state.pa.us or 717-772-2525).

Categorical Consolidation
OMR has offered counties the options of reducing the number of categoricals for 2007/08 from 84 to 33 for those counties fully implementing HCSIS Financial Management. Counties should contact their regional coordinators if interesting in using this functionality in HCSIS.

Dental Care
Special Care Dentistry Association is an international organization of oral health professionals dedicated to proving oral health services to special needs patients. A participating membership listing is available for agencies that serve people with special needs. For more information access www.scdaonline.org.

Special Smiles is an outpatient dental facility specializing in the treatment of patients with intellectual and physical disabilities. Located at Episcopal Hospital division of Temple University Health System, information is available at 215-707-0575.

Senator Casey
US Senator Bob Casey will open eight regional offices in Pennsylvania. They will be located in Centre County, Erie, Scranton, Allentown, suburban Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia.

Fumo Indicted
On February 6,Patrick Meehan, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, announced the indictment of Pennsylvania Senator Vincent Fumo (D-Phila) and three of his aides on numerous charges of fraud, tax offenses, and obstruction of justice. Last week Fumo stepped down as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee in anticipation of these charges. He has vowed to clear his name. For a copy of the US Department of Justice press release access www.usdoj.gov/usao/pae.

Employers’ Perspective on Job Development
The Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts has developed recommendations to look at the employers' perspective on job development. Creating Effective Business Partnerships: What Businesses Want Human Service Agencies to Know is available at www.communityinclusion.org/article.php?article_id=176.

Trainings/Seminars

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