Brain Injury

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The United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) recently held an executive session and voted to advance S.3657 – the Traumatic Brain Injury Program Reauthorization Act of 2018. The bill included some increased funding (from $5,500,000 to $7,321,000 for 2020 through 2014) and reauthorized the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) State Partnership Grant Program, which is administered by the Administration for Community Living (ACL).

The bill also created and funded a national concussion data collection and analysis program through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine the prevalence and incidence of concussion. Contact Melissa Dehoff, RCPA Director of Rehabilitation Services, with questions.

The RCPA staff and conference committee would like to thank you all for sponsoring, exhibiting, advertising, and/or attending the 2018 RCPA Annual Conference.

It’s official: The 2019 RCPA Annual Conference will be held September 24–27 at the Hershey Lodge, in Hershey, PA — be sure to mark this landmark event on your calendars!

It is our hope that, as you plan your 2019 events, you will once again consider supporting and attending the conference. Some other key dates to remember:

  • The 2019 Call for Workshop Proposals will be sent out by the end of January.
  • The request for sponsors, exhibitors, and advertisers will be sent out by the end of February.

For any questions about the RCPA Annual Conference, please contact Sarah Eyster, RCPA Conference Coordinator. We wish you all a happy and safe holiday season.

In order to promote improved coordination between Medicare and Medicaid as the rollout of Community HealthChoices (CHC) in the Southeast portion of the state gets closer, the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) released a CHC Medicaid/Medicare billing fact sheet. The fact sheet includes information and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding coverage and how billing works under CHC.

Contact Melissa Dehoff with questions.

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Main Line Rehabilitation Associates, a CARF-accredited home and community-based provider that specializes in Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy (CRT), will be hosting a free conference, “Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy: Clinical Strategies and Evidence Based Practices.” The conference is scheduled for Tuesday, November 13, 2018 from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm and will be held at the Sheraton- Harrisburg/Hershey. Please see the flyer for additional information, including registration.

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The Community HealthChoices (CHC) Third Thursday webinar coming up on September 20, 2018 will include updates on CHC by Kevin Hancock, Deputy Secretary for Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL). The remainder of the webinar will focus on brain injury that includes a brain injury panel discussion facilitated by members of RCPA’s Brain Injury Committee, including: Dr. Drew Nagele, Jack Poplar, and Bridget Lowery.

Register using this link to participate in the webinar and support your colleagues. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Contact RCPA Rehabilitation Services Director Melissa Dehoff with questions.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) guideline. This guideline is based on the most comprehensive review of the science on pediatric mTBI (most commonly referred to as concussion)  diagnosis and management to date.

This guideline was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics and includes 19 sets of clinical recommendations that are applicable to health care providers who care for patients with concussions in all settings.

The guideline provides the following key practice-changing recommendations:

  1. Do not routinely image pediatric patients to diagnose.
  2. Use validated, age-appropriate symptom scales to diagnose mTBI.
  3. Assess for risk factors for prolonged recovery, including: a history of mTBI or other brain injury, severe symptom presentation immediately after the injury, and personal characteristics and family history (such as learning difficulties and family and social stressors).
  4. Provide patients with instructions on returning to activity customized to their symptoms.
  5. Counsel patients to return gradually to non-sports activities after no more than 2–3 days of rest.

Free tools were also developed by the CDC to assist health care providers use this guideline in their practice and include:

  • A checklist for health care providers on diagnosis and management;
  • Quick guides to key recommendations;
  • Patient discharge instructions;
  • Recovery tips for parents; and
  • A letter to schools to be filled in by health care providers.

These tools and additional information are available online. Contact Melissa Dehoff, RCPA Rehabilitation Services Division Director, with questions.

(From OLTL)

TO: Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy Providers
RE: Procedure Code for Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy Services – Processing Issue

This notice is to advise Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy Providers that after removing service procedure 97532 SE and replacing it with the new procedure code 97127 for Cognitive Rehabilitation, a processing issue occurred causing many claims to deny.

OLTL is aware of this issue and is working on a system fix.  OLTL will send a follow up communication in the very near future advising providers of the fix and when it is appropriate to rebill.  In the meantime, OLTL asks that providers refrain from billing for Cognitive Rehabilitation in the Independence and OBRA waivers.

If you have any questions regarding the procedure code change, please contact the OLTL Provider Inquiry Unit at RA-ProviderOperation@pa.gov or 1-800-932-0939.

A listserv has been established for ongoing updates on the CHC program. It is titled OLTL-COMMUNITY-HEALTHCHOICES, please visit the ListServ Archives page at http://listserv.dpw.state.pa.us to update or register your email address.

Please share this email with other members of your organization as appropriate. Also, it is imperative that you notify the Office of Long-Term Living for changes that would affect your provider file, such as addresses and telephone numbers. Mail to/pay to addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers may be updated electronically through ePEAP, which can be accessed through the PROMISe™ provider portal. For any other provider file changes please notify the Bureau of Quality and Provider Management Enrollment and Certification Section at 1-800-932-0939 Option #1.

To ensure you receive email communications distributed from the Office of Long-Term Living, please visit the ListServ Archives page at http://listserv.dpw.state.pa.us to update or register your email address.

NOTICE: This confidential message/attachment contains information intended for a specific individual(s) and purpose. Any inappropriate use, distribution or copying is strictly prohibited. If received in error, notify the sender and immediately delete the message.

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The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) recently issued a notice to share that Community HealthChoices (CHC) pre-transition notices were being sent this week to individuals eligible for CHC in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. If members receive questions from eligible enrollees, they should encourage them to visit the HealthChoices website for more details or to enroll in information sessions. Please note that information sessions are intended for potential enrollees, and providers may attend only if they are not taking a spot from a potential enrollee. A copy of the notices and all CHC participant communications are available online.

OLTL also issued a CHC Complaints and Grievances Fact Sheet. CHC offers protections for participants who disagree with a CHC managed care organization (CHC-MCO) decision to deny or decrease a service or approve a service or item that differs from what was requested. Participants also have protections if they are dissatisfied with their CHC-MCO.

Contact Melissa Dehoff, RCPA Director of Rehabilitation Services, with questions.