Policy Areas

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The Department of Human Services (DHS) published a notice that will appear in tomorrow’s Pennsylvania Bulletin that they intend to make a supplemental payment in fiscal year (FY) 2017/2018 to certain special rehabilitation facilities (SRFs) that have high Medical Assistance (MA) and total facility occupancy levels. An SRF is one that specializes in providing services and care to adults who have a neurological/neuromuscular diagnosis and condition, as well as severe functional limitations. Because of the complex needs of these individuals, SRF’s typically incur staffing and specialized medical equipment costs that are very high. Additionally, SRF’s with high MA and total facility occupancy levels are dependent on MA payments to continue to operate. To help offset the higher costs incurred by these SRFs while they reconfigure to home and community-based services, DHS intends to make a supplemental payment to these facilities to assure that the unique services they provide continue to be available to MA beneficiaries.

To qualify for an MA dependency payment the following requirements must be met:

  • Be classified as an SRF as of the cost report end date.
  • Have MA occupancy greater than or equal to 94% as reported on Schedule A, Column A, Line 5 of the cost report.
  • Have an overall nursing facility occupancy greater than or equal to 95% as reported on Schedule A, Column A, Line 4 of the cost report.
  • Have at least 200 MA certified nursing facility beds as of the cost report end date.

DHS will accept comments on this notice for thirty days following publication. Comments should be sent to: Department of Human Services, Office of Long-Term Living, Bureau of Policy and Regulatory Management, Attention: Marilyn Yocum, PO Box 8025, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8025.

The National Council Conference will be held Mon–Wed, April 23–25, 2018, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, Washington, DC. This event is the health care industry’s foremost behavioral health conference. Each year, more than 5,000 leaders like you explore health care’s greatest innovations in practice improvement, financing, integrated health care, technology, policy and advocacy, and professional development at the National Council Conference. Pennsylvania is consistently among the most well represented groups from around the country.

Please register before Friday, December 1, 2017, to take advantage of a special preview rate. RCPA members are offered a more deeply discounted registration; please use the coupon code 18memberPA for an additional $225 in savings. Contact Richard Edley with any additional questions.

This year’s free training for supports coordinators, administrative entities, and employment service providers has started. Fifteen regional trainings — organized and paid for by the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), Bureau of Special Education (BSE), and Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) — will give you access to, and the opportunity to collaborate with, your local county mental health/developmental services staff, local school special education staff, and vocational rehabilitation district office staff. You can attend!

The “Experience the Employment Connection (EEC) 2017” training has already begun. There is plenty of room for interested individuals at each regional session. While organizers were encouraging teams to participate, individuals can even if they are not part of a team. If you support transition-age students/youth with disabilities (primarily intellectual disability, autism, mental health, but also any other disability category), you are strongly encouraged to register.

EEC 2017 training content will include topics that impact educators, vocational rehabilitation professionals, service coordinators, providers, and the like. It will cover topics such as age of consent, legislation, pre-employment transition services, the OVR process, and waiver/non-waiver services through the ODP and the OMHSAS-funded county-based mental health system.

This training is approved for Continuing Education Credit for a variety of professionals and will count towards the 24-hour training requirement in ODP. Certificates of Attendance will be available to everyone who attends. More specific information is available online and also onsite.

  • Do you want to learn more about our systems and how they interact?
  • Do you work for a funding source for programs that support transition/employment for individuals with disabilities?
  • Can you offer insight into additional components that support successful transition?
  • Do you want to meet interagency colleagues who might be able to support you in your professional role?

If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, EEC 2017 might be for you as an individual! Please visit the EEC website to register today!

The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services’ Children’s Bureau is hosting four regional meetings for family based providers during the month of October. If you plan to attend one of the four meetings, please use this link. Each provider is asked to register no more than two individuals. For programs with more than one family based site, please register each family based director and one agency administrator. Thank you in advance for taking advantage of this opportunity!