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MR Update #07-13: PCPA Regional Meeting, Tamper-Resistant Prescription Pads, College Cost Reduction Act, National Disability Employment Month, Workforce Development, Ticket to Work, SSA Redeterminations, Draft Bulletins, ODP Rate Setting, FIAT Rate Setting Paper, Pandemic Information, OLTL Survey, CI Class, Trainings, and Employment Opportunities
October 2, 2007

PCPA Central Region Meeting
PCPA will hold a Central Region Meeting on Monday, December 10, from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at its office in Harrisburg. The topic will be Autism Services and will include presentations by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Autism Services, Keystone Human Services, and Youth Advocate Program. Watch for agenda and registration details in the near future.

Tamper Resistant Rx
Congress has passed legislation to delay implementation of the Medicaid tamper-resistant prescription pad requirements until April 2008. For details access PCPA’s September 28 Alert at www.paproviders.org.

PL 110-84
On September 27 President Bush signed into law HR 2669 which because Public Law 110-84, “College Cost Reduction and Access Act.” There are several provisions that encourage professionals to work in the disability field:

  • TEACH grants will provide up to $4,000 yearly for a total of $16,000 to pay college tuition for those planning to become teachers in high shortage fields such as special education and
  • Student loan forgiveness options are offered to those entering public service, including the field of disabilities and non-profit organizations.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month
President Bush has signed a proclamation of October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This is an opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of citizens with disabilities and to underscore the nation’s commitment to advancing employment opportunities for all citizens. A copy of the press release is available at www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/09/20070929-3.html.

Workforce Development
The US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy has awarded a two year agreement for $1.8 million to the Institute for Educational Leadership Center for Workforce Development to establish a National Technical Assistance Center on Transition and Employment for Youth with Disabilities. The purpose of the center will be to build the capacity of workforce development, economic development, and educational service delivery systems to ensure that youth with disabilities graduate from high school and either enter employment or continue their education. The press release is available at US Department of Labor, www.dol.gov.

Ticket to Work Revisions
The Social Security Administration has published proposed rules revisions to the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program in the Federal Register (Vol.72, No. 155). The goal is to simplify the Ticket to Work program and definition of using a ticket and related requirements for measuring progress toward self-support employment.

SSA Redeterminations
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is mailing "SSA Review of Your Eligibility for Extra Help" redetermination notices to some beneficiaries who currently receive the low-income subsidy. Individuals receiving this notification must complete the form and return it within 30 days. Assistance is available at 800-772-1213 or the local SSA field office.

ODP Draft Bulletins
The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) has released several draft bulletins for public comment. These include:

  • Process for Qualification and Disqualification of Waiver Providers with comments due by October 23,
  • Individual Eligibility,
  • Due Process, and
  • Service Delivery Preference, all with comments due by October 19.

PCPA requests members share their comments with the association by forwarding copies to Linda Drummond.

ODP Rate Setting
ODP has developed a number of revisions to the FY 2008/09 rate setting spreadsheets. The revisions, county and provider testing, and final revisions will be completed in October, with ODP approval anticipated in early November. For a copy of the planned revisions contact Linda Drummond.

FIAT Rate Setting Paper
ODPs Financial Implementation Advisory Team (FIAT) has developed a white paper recommending the rate setting methodology for mental retardation waiver services be based on cost-based rates which are consistent with Social Security Act Title XIX. A copy of this document is available from and member comments are due by October 22 to Linda Drummond.

Pandemic Information
The Department of Public Welfare has released a pamphlet providing information for providers for preparedness in case of the occurrence of a pandemic. Information is available at www.pandemicflu.state.pa.us.

OLTL Survey
The Office of Long Term Living (OLTL) has disseminated a survey for stakeholder feedback. At the request of OLTL, Penn State Harrisburg’s Center for Survey Research has developed two new survey questionnaires designed to measure satisfaction levels of consumers receiving home and community-based care. The waivers funding these services are OBRA, Independence, CommCare, Attendant Care, Aging, Michael Dallas, AIDS, Elwyn, LIFE, Nursing Home Transition, and Specialized Services. The web site will be available through October 5. For information on accessing contact Linda Drummond at PCPA.

CI Class
ODP has added an addition new Certified Investigators (CI) class October 29 – November 1 at the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Training office in Mechanicsburg. Details are available on the HSCIS Learning Management System.

Trainings/Workshops

  • Assistive Technology Expo offered across the state in late October and early November by PaTTAN, www.pattan.net;
  • ODP trainings at state centers – schedules of topics and dates are available from Linda Drummond at PCPA;
  • Autism trainings offered across the state in November addressing "The Functional Behavior Assessment and Treatment Plan Development" with information available from the Bureau of Autism Services, www.autisminpa.org or email DPW-AutismOffice@state.pa.us.

Employment Opportunities

  • Facility Advocate for Disability Rights Network of PA serving as an advocate for individuals at Hamburg Center; information available at 570-372-5937 or csassaman@drnpa.org;
  • Protection and Advocacy Beneficiaries of Social Security Project Director at Disability Rights Network of PA; information available from Pam Auer, pauer@drnpa.org;
  • Assistant Director at Institute on Disabilities at Temple University to provide technical assistance to ODP’s IM4Q project and other evaluation and research activities; information available at www.temple.edu.

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