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MR Update #07-15: MR Rate Setting Teleconference, FIAT, ISO Changes, Lifesharing, SSI Increase, HCSIS Update, Autism Transition Grants, Breaking Barriers Report, Participant Direction Information, CI Classes, Seminars and Conferences
December 14, 2007

MR Rate Setting Teleconference
To assist members with any last minute issues with budget development for FY 2008/09, PCPA will offer a free teleconference to members providing mental retardation services on January 14, 2008 beginning at 1:00 p.m. to address the ODP rate setting spreadsheet changes and budgeting criteria. Details are available by contacting Linda Drummond. The call will include the following:

  • Review fiscal and operational implications of the continued transition to fee-for-service reimbursement for mental retardation services,
  • Identify changes that were made to FY 2008/09 budget spreadsheets,
  • Discuss current approaches to effectively determining true operating costs, and
  • Identify steps necessary to manage this new reimbursement methodology.

FIAT
The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) Financial Implementation Advisory Team (FIAT) is the group developing recommendations regarding rate setting changes for the development of a consistent, statewide methodology for provider billing. The billing changes from program funding to fee-for-service are being required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in their reauthorization of the state’s Consolidated and Person/Family Directed Services waivers.

The FIAT consists of representatives from the counties, providers, and advocacy communities working with ODP to develop these system changes. PCPA is represented on this team by Susan Blue, president of Community Services Group and PCPA board member. She has reported that at the December meeting ODP Deputy Secretary Casey addressed several issues including:

  • Department of Public Welfare Secretary Richman has removed “budget neutrality” as a requirement for rate setting; this was to resolve several issues with ODP’s ability to spend any new money for the Waiting List initiatives;
  • The FIAT will continue with its role in the development of the rate setting methodology;
  • The introduction of Mercer Consulting to review recommendations for the “prospective cost-based rate setting system.” (A copy of this presentation available from Linda Drummond).

ISO Changes
ODP has postponed the implementation date for the statewide Vendor Fiscal/Employer Agent Intermediary Service Organization (VF/ISO) until January 1, 2009. Due to the need for the state to re-bid the contract for this ISO option the decision was made to change the timeline to allow time to complete critical transition activities. Questions may be directed to regional ODP offices. An electronic copy of the letter is available from Linda Drummond.

Lifesharing Clarification
ODP has sent a letter of clarification to Administrative Entities (AE) to provide clarification on Lifesharing provided under residential habilitation services covered by PA Code 55 Chapter 6500 and the same types of services provided in unlicensed private homes. Both licensed and unlicensed Lifesharing may be funded by both ODP waivers. A copy of this letter is available from Linda Drummond.

SSI Increase
An annual cost-of-living adjustment for 2008 has been announced by the Social Security Administration. Beneficiaries receiving Social Security and Supplemental Security income (SSI) will receive a 2.3 percent increase. The maximum federal payment for an individual receiving SSI will be $637 per month. SSI resource limits will remain at $2,000 for individuals. For individuals eligible for the substantial gainful activity (SGA) the level will increase to $940 per month for those with disabilities without blindness and to $1,570 per month for those who are blind. Details are available at www.socialsecurity.gov.

HCSIS Update
HCSIS project updates included information on Release 5.11.0 scheduled for early January 2008 which highlights read-only provider role, modifications to the provider location report, ISO terminology changes, and financial management changes. This release will be posted on the HCSIS information link on the Learning Management system (LMS) in late December.

Autism Transition Grants
The Bureau of Autism Services has issued a request for applications for grants for “Transition to Community-Based Employment for Adolescents or Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).” The grants will fund providers who have designed a comprehensive service proposal that addresses the unique needs of persons with ASD who are transitioning into community employment. The proposal deadline has been extended to January 9, 2008. The application is available on the DPW Bureau of Autism Services web site www.dpw.state.pa.us.

Breaking Barriers Report
The National Council on Disability has submitted to President Bush the report “Empowerment of Americans with Disabilities: Breaking Barriers to Careers and Full Employment.” The report reviews issues integral to the employment of people with disabilities by summarizing existing knowledge on this issue and presenting new information on the perspectives of employers, specialists, and self-advocates. A copy is available at www.ncd.gov.

Participant Direction
The Beach Center on Disability’s fall 2007 newsletter features an article and PowerPoint presentation addressing ‘What’s New in Funding Trends? Participant Direction.” This trend focuses on individual control of funding to allow control over housing and employment for young adults with disabilities. Access the article and PowerPoint at www.beachcenter.org/newsletters/fall_2007.aspx.

CI Classes
ODP has added a new class for Certified Investigators (CI) on March 17-20, 2008 at Computer Lab, Southeast Regional Training Cuter in Bridgeport. Details are available on HCSIS’ Learning Management System.

Seminars and Conferences
January 8-9, 2008: “Disability and Special Needs Technical Assistance Conference: Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recover” at the Capital Hilton, Washington, DC. Details are available at Government Horizons, www.governmenthorizons.org.

February 21, 2008: “Victims of Crime with Developmental Disabilities” at the PA Child Welfare Training Center in Mechanicsburg, PA. Sponsored by ODP, this training will focus on violence in the lives of individuals, victims’ services, and improving systems of support. Details for registration are not yet available.

March 11-13, 2008: Certified Quality Analyst Conference in Dallas, TX. Sponsored by the Council on Quality and Leadership, this conference will help build competencies in understanding the purpose of quality indicators, relevant data collection, using data for strategic planning, and creating quality management reports. Details are available at www.thecouncil.org.

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