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MR Update #07-08: ODP Bulletins, Fiscal Clarification, Deloitte Study, IM4Q Report, Fayette MH/MR, Autism Resources, Personal Care Homes, DASH, Federal Match, Seminars and Workshops
April 26, 2007

ODP Bulletins
The two latest bulletins released by the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) are Provider Billing Documentation Requirements for Waiver Services and Overview of the Supports Intensity Scale Plus. The billing requirements bulletin addresses specific information that waiver providers must maintain to document services, service units, and to validate invoices/billing submissions. This bulletin does not apply to providers that provide only base-funded services. This documentation must be maintained for at least four years after the waiver-funded service is furnished.

The Supports Intensity Scale (SIS) and the Pennsylvania Plus version will be used in the future by ODP as a statewide standardized needs assessment instrument. ODP will contract with an outside entity beginning in July to administer the assessment. This entity will be independent of state or county government and may not be a provider of mental retardation services or a current Administrative Entity under contract with ODP.

ODP is working on a package of bulletins which will be released for public comment in May or June, Individual Support Plan Process, Guidelines for the Delivery of Supports Coordination, and Intake and Registration.

Electronic copies are available from Linda Drummond. For copies of current and obsolete bulletins a good resource is The Training Partnership web site at www.temple.edu/thetrainingpartnership/resources/mrBulletins.asp.

ODP Fiscal Clarification
ODP Deputy Secretary Casey issued a letter to Administrative Entities to provide policy clarification on fiscal issues regarding rate setting. Questions may be directed to ra-ratesetting@state.pa.us or Joe Church (jchurch@state.pa.us). The issues include:

  • Authorizing 100 percent funding on Individual Service Plans;
  • Overbooking;
  • 97 percent utilization percentage for all residential services; and
  • July 1, 2009 effective date for direct payment of providers to state’s treasury.

Deloitte Service Rate Analysis
ODP contracted with Deloitte Consulting to do an analysis of mental retardation service rates established during the 2005/06 fiscal year and entered into HCIS as of September 30, 2006. The results of the data on the rates indicated there was considerable variation in both standard and individualized rates. Deloitte selected four potential explanations for these variations: regional, county, provider size differences, and urban/rural characterizations. As of October 1, 2006 there were 15,248 rates in the HCSIS database. Nine service categories out of a total of 90 account for 79 percent of all rates. For an electronic copy of the report contact Linda Drummond.

Fayette County MH/MR
The Department of Public Welfare (DPW) Office of Developmental Disabilities (ODP) and Fayette County Mental Health/Mental Retardation Department have reached an agreement regarding the "property clause" issue. PCPA has been informed that Fayette County will be revising its contracts effective July 1 to remove this requirement.

IM4Q Annual Report
ODP has released the 2005/06 Annual Report for the state’s Independent Monitoring for Quality (IM4Q) projects. PCPA is a member of the IM4Q Management Committee which received updates regarding the initiative, work groups, and pilot projects. An electronic copy is available from PCPA by contacting Linda Drummond.

Autism Resource
The Dr. Gertrude Barber National Institute has developed an online resource on autism for families and professionals. Autism Insight is a web-based resource (www.barberinstitute.org) will include features such as:

  • Frequently Asked Questions,
  • "Ask an Expert,"
  • Autism News and Resources, and
  • The Umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Another resource is the Bureau of Autism Services which provides regular updates on current news and announcements on its web site at www.dpw.state.pa.us/Disable/Autism Services.

Governor Rendell has announced the availability of one-time mini-grants to help individuals and families gain access to essential community services and supports. Applications for the grants are due April 27 and eligible families may receive up to $500 which can be used for activities such as child care, summer camp/recreation programs, or home modifications.

Assisted Living/Personal Care Home Report
Issues regarding quality of care for individuals residing in assisted living or personal care homes have the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) reviewing current practices, regulations, and monitoring. Secretary Estelle Richman has called for legislation that would give the department more oversight of assisted living facilities. According to a study by the state legislature, more than 60 personal care homes closed in the last half of 2006 due to regulations designed to make them safer. Unfortunately, there are often few living options for residents forced to move from these homes. The study shows that the 2005 DPW regulations implemented to license and inspect personal care homes may be the cause of some of the closures. DPW may have underestimated the costs to the operators of small and midsized homes, especially those housing low-income individuals on Supplemental Security Income. For a copy of the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee report access http://lbfc.legis.state.pa.us and select “What’s New.”

DASH
The Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania opened the Disability Advocacy Support Hub (DASH) on April 1 under a grant from the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council. DASH is aimed at support groups which work with people with disabilities to make positive change in their communities. For information contact 866-915-3274 or dash@drnpa.org. Support for grassroots disability advocacy groups will include:

  • Educational trainings,
  • Toll-free number for support,
  • Networking and coalition building, and
  • Extra assistance to one new and developing group each year.

2008 FMAP
The Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) for FY 2008 have been calculated pursuant to the Social Security Act. These percentages will be effective from October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2008. The FMAP is used in determining the amount of federal match for state Medical Assistance. Pennsylvania’s is set at 54.08 percent. Details are available from the Federal Register (http://wais.access.gpo.gov) issued November 30, 2006, Volume 71, Number 230.

Seminars and Workshops
May 10: ODP Individual Program Plan Regulation Revision Information Session. PaTTAN, Harrisburg. Focus will be on the future revision of the IPP regulations related to Chapter 6400, 6500, and 2380 regulations. For details contact Audrey Shuey at ashuey@pattan.net

May 22: Freedom March for Real Self-Determination. State Capitol, Harrisburg. Sponsored by Speaking for Ourselves, details are available at www.speaking.org.

May 24: Incident and Risk Management Forum. Mental Retardation Services, Philadelphia, PA. For information contact Howard Barbakoff at 215-685-5978.

May – June: Autism Diagnostic Workshops: Train the Trainer in Autism Diagnostic Assessments. Various locations and dates across Pennsylvania. For dates, locations, and registration information access www.wpic.pitt.edu/oerp.

June 1: Annual Conference on Medical Care for Persons with Developmental Disabilities: Promoting Healthy Aging for Older Adults. Westin Princeton, Princeton, NJ. For details contact The Arc of New Jersey, Diane Flynn, dflynn@arcnj.org.

June 13, 14, 15: ODP College of Director Supports Administrators Workshops are being held across the state. For details contact Sarah Rollin at srollin@pattan.net.

July 18-20: Pennsylvania Community on Transition Forum. Penn Stater Conference Hotel, State College, PA. Information will be available after May 18 at www.sharedwork.org/patransition and www.pattan.net.

July 30 – August 3: National Autism Conference. Penn Stater Conference Hotel, State College, PA. For information contact www.outreach.psu.edu/C&I/Autism. Scholarships to cover attendance are available for behavioral health care providers and workers including TSS, BSC, MT and Case Managers. Applications for scholarships are due by May 15 and available at www.dpw.state.pa.us/disable/autismservices/autismnews/default.htm.

October 16 – 19: Uniting…Service, Integrity, Passion: Celebrating 35 Years. PCPA Annual Conference. Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Champion, PA. Special session October 16 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m., An Afternoon with ODP: Up To the Moment Information. Numerous ODP staff will present on the most up to date information regarding the state’s mental retardation and autism system. There will be opportunity for participants to ask questions and dialogue with ODP staff.

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