RCPA - Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association


Mental Retardation Update #4-03
December 23, 2003

State Budget Passed!
On Saturday, December 20, Pennsylvania’s Senate passed a $22 billion budget package for FY 2003-04 that went to the House for passage on Monday, December 22. The Governor’s FY 2004-05 budget will be introduced on February 3, 2004.

The Senate bill includes:

  • Increase in personal income tax from 2.8% to 3.07% to generate $729 million annually;
  • $450 million in federal dollars from emergency budget aid;
  • Cigarette tax increase of 35 cents per pack to generate $255 million;
  • Tax on gross receipts from cell phone calls to generate $194 million.

Major spending items:

  • Community Mental Retardation Services $641 million of state and $643 million of federal;
  • DPW Early Intervention $73 million of state and $17 million of federal;
  • ICF/MR receives $103 million of state and $140 million of federal;
  • $61 million out of $66 million cut from funds for mental health and drug and alcohol treatment programs;
  • $29.6 million out of $33 million that was cut from counties for various uses including mental health and drug and alcohol (Human Services Development Funds);
  • $4.2 billion for public school subsidies;
  • $258 million for new education programs (full-day kindergarten, etc.); and
  • $41 million to private schools for special education costs.

PCPA is preparing a more detailed overview of the approved state budget that will be sent to members.

CMS Guidance on Restraint
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued guidance on the use of seclusion and restraint in children’s’ residential psychiatric treatment facilities. The guidance is available on the CMS web site at www.cms.hhs.gov.
The guidance addresses the state agencies’ obligations to enforce the regulation requirements on reporting incidents to Protection and Advocacy as well as provisions on complaints and monitoring of facilities. CMS expects the final rule to be issued in summer of 2004.

HUD Grants
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $44 million in grants to be used to help persons with disabilities and the elderly live independently. The Resident Opportunities and Self Sufficiency Program grants are awarded to public housing authorities, resident organizations, or non-profits acting on behalf of residents. The grants link public housing residents to services that lead to employment and support services. The grant categories are:

  • Resident Service Deliver Models: family funding to promote self-sufficiency with job and business development training; pays for support services such as child-care, transportation, family counseling.
  • Neighborhood Networks: Network Centers that use computer technology for residents to learn to use the computer, reduce welfare dependence, expand educational opportunities.
  • Homeownership Supportive Services: Allows Public Housing Authority to offer home-buying counseling for public housing residents.

Pennsylvania is to receive a grant for $2.2 million. For more information contact HUD at www.hud.gov or 202-708-0685.

HCSIS Project Update

  1. Due to the PROMISe conversion HCSIS will be unavailable from 3:00 p.m. on December 27 to 12:00 p.m. on December 28. Do not begin work on HCSIS until the Banner Page announcement says HCSIS is available to users. If you need to report an incident to satisfy the 24-hour reporting requirement, follow the Incident Management contingency plan in the MR Bulletin #0-02-02 located in the Office of Mental Retardation (OMR)web site www.dpw.state.pa.us/omr/dpwmr.asp.
  2. Incident Management Documentation support is available through the Learning Management System HCSIS link at www.humanservices-r.state.pa.us/HCSISLM. Information includes data clean-up; conversion details; web-based training; quick reference guides, frequently asked questions (FAQ) document.
  3. Key information on medication error incidents regardless of their current status will be converted into the redesigned IM system on January 4, 2004.
  4. Bulletin training: a CD containing the bulletin training, the Power Point presentation and a hand out will be mailed beginning December 22 to all providers licensed to provide services. If providers do not receive this CD by January 5, 2004, contact mhuntsman@tiu11.org.
  5. .NET technology is being used in HCSIS enhancements. The main impact .NET has on the HCSIS user is that error messages will look different and contain a reference number the will aid the Help Desk in resolving your issue. Be prepared to have this error number available when calling the Help Desk.
  6. OMR is delaying the issuance of the new Incident Management Bulletin. Continue to use the existing Bulletin #00-01-05.

Certified Investigator Trainings
The Department of Public Welfare has scheduled the following Certified Investigator trainings. Details and registration are available on line at www.humanservices-r.state.pa.us.

  • March 1-5 at Pittsburgh Sheraton North;
  • March 8-12 at Philadelphia Holiday Inn Midtown;
  • March 8-12 at Southeast Regional Training Center;
  • April 26-30 at Allentown Clarion Hotel;
  • May 10-15 at Keystone Building Plaza Harrisburg;
  • June 7-11 at Wyalusing Fire Hall.

PCPA Mental Retardation Committee
The next meeting of PCPA’s Mental Retardation Committee will be held on Tuesday, January 20, from 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at the Four Pints by Sheraton, Harrisburg. An agenda and directions will be forwarded to committee members.

< Back