Authors Posts by Richard Edley

Richard Edley

Dr. Richard Edley is the lead executive for RCPA and is responsible for all aspects of operations and direction for the association. His professional career began in 1988 and most recently he was president and CEO of PerformCare/Community Behavioral HealthCare Network of Pennsylvania, Inc., a national, full-service, behavioral health managed care organization.

Late this afternoon, the Governor ordered all businesses to close at 8:00 pm tonight (Thursday, March 19), except for those considered life-sustaining. For those businesses that are not considered life-sustaining and do not close, the state will begin to take enforcement actions on Saturday, March 21, at 12:01 am.

RCPA members are considered life-sustaining businesses. For a complete chart of life-sustaining businesses, use this link.

Additional information regarding the Governor’s declaration can be found below:

Questions, please contact Jack Phillips.

Over the past several days, RCPA has been in contact with numerous DHS and Department officials to brainstorm issues and ideas in this time of crisis. There have been some emergency relief efforts already released (e.g., ODP, OCYF), and there are no doubt more to come from other departments.

Many providers have also brought their ideas to RCPA and we have, in turn, incorporated them in submissions to DHS.

Most importantly, we are emphasizing the following:

  • This is not “business as usual.” If there was ever a time to put aside standard rules and operations, it is now.
  • The Governor has declared this an “emergency.” So let’s take emergent action.
  • Waive rules around alternative ways to reach out to individuals, such as paying for all telehealth and telephonic contact.
  • Implement alternative payment mechanisms (e.g., via BH-MCOs) to allow providers to do what is necessary to outreach to individuals and keep them engaged.
  • Understand that if traditional services decrease (e.g., program closures, increased no- shows), then billable units disappear along with cash flow. Measures need to be taken immediately to ensure that agencies are solvent and services – even non-traditional – are available for consumers.

We are also urging as streamlined an approval process as possible. It is a fluid situation and we cannot wait days, let alone weeks, to discuss these ideas.

If any providers have specific ideas or suggestions, please reach out to RCPA and we can, in turn, bring them forward. We are hopeful that our discussions with DHS will lead to some creative and critically needed solutions.

While we all know there are times when interactive, in-person discussions are preferable, we also understand the sensitivity required at this time and want to take proper precautions, to help protect our members and those you serve. In light of the current situation, RCPA is eliminating in-person meetings for the month of March, and will be offering them all exclusively via webcast or conference call. We will make sure that participants will still have the opportunity to ask questions, comment, etc.

Webcast/conference call instructions will be sent 24 hours before each meeting. If you already registered, no action is needed.

As everyone is doing, we are also monitoring instructions received from such sources as the PA Department of Health. Please let us know if you have any questions. RCPA will continue to keep you all informed of any developments as they come about. Thank you for your continued flexibility and understanding.

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Announcement from RCPA President/CEO Richard S. Edley, PhD:

It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing the departure of Kristen Houser, Drug and Alcohol Division Director, from RCPA. Kristen has agreed to take on the position of Deputy Secretary of the DHS Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS).  Therefore, while we will miss Kristen, we are very excited to see her moving to a position that can have so much influence on the system, behavioral health providers, and those they serve every day.

In the short time that Kristen has been at RCPA, she has not only led the Drug and Alcohol Division, but also weighed in on many of the internal strategies that guide the organization. This has been a great help to RCPA, and we are confident she will be just as effective and impactful at OMHSAS.

Please join me in congratulating Kristen. Her last day at RCPA will be Friday, March 13; we look forward to working with her on the many issues impacting our members and effecting positive change in the behavioral health systems of care in the Commonwealth.