RCPA - Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association


OMR Issues Two Bulletins
February 26, 2003

An Office of Mental Retardation (MR) Bulletin - Passage of Act 171 relating to the Older Adults Protective Services Act (OAPSA) - providing guidance about the amendment to the OAPSA was passed in the General Assembly in November 2002. As stated in a previous PCPA Info, incidents of suspected abuse for persons with mental retardation under age 60 that occur in facilities covered by Act 13 and licensed, approved or funded by DPW, need only be reported to the Office of Mental Retardation (OMR). If an incident involves a person 60 or older, that incident must still be reported to both the local Area Agency on Aging and OMR. Entities must continue to comply with all other applicable chapters of OAPSA, including the requirement to obtain criminal background checks for employees.

The second MR Bulletin - Site Visits and Access by Pennsylvania Protection and Advocacy, Inc. (PP&A) - looks like the version PCPA reviewed. This bulletin, signed by Deputy Secretaries for OMR as well as the Offices of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Social Programs, and Children, Youth and Families, and lists all the federal statutes relevant to PP&A that give them authority to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect. It is stated that these laws supersede all inconsistent state laws, including the Peer Review Protection Act and the Child Protective Services Law. Agencies are advised to consult with their legal counsel regarding agency compliance with statutory requirements.

Copies of both bulletins may be obtained from Lynn Keltz. The PPA Bulletin is available from the link above. Please note that the bulletin is a large file (1.75 MB) and may take some time to open on slower connections.

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