Brain Injury

Early bird registration has been extended for the 2017 RCPA Conference, to be held at the Hershey Lodge, Tuesday to Friday, October 10–13. This is your last chance to take advantage of the discounted early bird rates! The deadline for early bird registration and discounted rates is now Wednesday, September 20. Please be sure to register by Wednesday to receive these special rates.

This year’s annual conference features a Keynote Address from Teresa Miller, newly named

DHS Secretary, as well as two plenary presentations; one from Jean Bennett of SAMHSA and also a panel discussion with Pennsylvania’s Aging Secretary Teresa Osborne, OLTL Deputy Secretary Jen Burnett, ODP Deputy Secretary Nancy Thaler, OMHSAS Acting Deputy Secretary Ellen DiDomenico, OMAP Deputy Secretary Leesa Allen, and DDAP Acting Deputy Secretary Jen Smith. The moderator for this panel will be Charley Curie, national consultant, past SAMHSA Administrator, and past OMHSAS Deputy Secretary. The conference also features over 70 workshops offering continuing education. New this year is the Executive Level Track of workshops. In addition, there are several networking receptions, an awards dinner, exhibit hall, and entertainment. Register here for early bird savings.

If more information or assistance is needed, please contact Sarah Eyster. We look forward to seeing you in October!

On Thursday, September 28, 2017, from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will host a special open door forum (SODF) that will provide information and solicit feedback on the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014. Topics will include the goals of the IMPACT Act, RAND contract activities for item development (including pilot test results and plans for the upcoming national field test), and identifying opportunities for providers, consumers, stakeholders, researchers, and advocates to become involved over the next year. CMS welcomes questions, comments, and ideas from providers, patients, consumers, researchers, and advocates in advance or during the forum. Questions, comments, and ideas should be submitted via email. The presentation for the SODF is posted on the IMPACT Act Downloads and Videos web page.

To participate in the SODF, dial:
Conference ID: 66557294

A transcript and audio recording of this SODF will be posted to the Special Open Door Forum website, and for downloading under the downloads section, as well as the IMPACT Act Downloads and Videos web page.

The Council on Brain Injury (CoBI) will be offering an upcoming presentation and discussion as part of their Clinical Forum Series on Thursday, September 21, 2017, from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm. The presentation, Traumatic Brain Injury as a Result of Domestic Violence: Education, Screening & Model Practices, will be facilitated by Fern Wilkerson, MA, from the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV).

Registration is free and Certified Brain Injury Specialist (CBIS) credits will be available. Contact Dana Rhoads for additional information or to register for the program.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and measure developers will host an upcoming call on Wednesday, September 6, 2017, from 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm that will focus on the IMPACT Act’s adopted Medicare Spending per Beneficiary Post-Acute Care (PAC) resource use measures. The call will focus on the components of each measure, as well as public reporting.

The IMPACT Act of 2014 requires the development of resource use measures for PAC providers, including inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), home health agencies (HHAs), and long-term care hospitals (LTCHs).

A question and answer session will follow the presentation. To participate in the call, please register here.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched the Jimmo Settlement Agreement web page. This web page provides access, in one location, to various public documents and resources related to the Jimmo Settlement Agreement, including a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) link.


Background on Settlement Agreement:

On January 24, 2013, the US District Court for the District of Vermont approved a settlement agreement in the case of Jimmo v. Sebelius, in which the plaintiffs alleged that Medicare contractors were inappropriately applying an “Improvement Standard” in making claims determinations for Medicare coverage involving skilled care (e.g., the skilled nursing facility (SNF), home health (HH), and outpatient therapy (OPT) benefits). The settlement agreement sets forth a series of specific steps for CMS to undertake, including issuing clarifications to existing program guidance and new educational material on this subject. The goal of this settlement agreement is to ensure that claims are correctly adjudicated in accordance with existing Medicare policy, so that Medicare beneficiaries receive the full coverage to which they are entitled.


The Jimmo Settlement Agreement may reflect a change in practice for those providers and contractors who may have erroneously believed that the Medicare program covers nursing and therapy services under these benefits only when a beneficiary is expected to improve. The Settlement Agreement is consistent with the Medicare program’s regulations governing maintenance nursing and therapy in skilled nursing facilities, home health services, and outpatient therapy (physical, occupational, and speech) and nursing and therapy in inpatient rehabilitation hospitals for beneficiaries who need the level of care that such hospitals provide.

The Pennsylvania Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP) is sponsoring a free webinar on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm to promote strategies to increase meaningful employment outcomes for individuals living with significant mental health challenges. This webinar is part of the 2017 EFSLMP Community of Practice Webinar Series. The webinar will focus on lessons learned from research and hands-on experience.

Some questions that will be addressed during the webinar:

  • After years of detailed policy and legislation to protect the rights of persons with disabilities, why are the employment outcomes for persons with mental illness so low?
  • What are the lessons learned from the research; particularly evidence-based supported employment/individual placement and support?
  • How can our service systems and providers better empower persons with mental health (MH) labels to be in partnership with providers, advocates, and employers for sustainable employment outcomes and careers?

Presenter: Richard Toscano is nationally recognized on issues related to employment, rehabilitation, and recovery for persons labeled with significant disabilities. He has over 40 years of experience promoting meaningful employment outcomes from diverse perspectives, some of which include Community Development Director for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health in the late 1970s; Founder and Executive Director of a private, nonprofit organization focusing on career development for persons with physical, mental health, and developmental disabilities through the 1980s and early 1990s; Public Service Faculty at University of Georgia / Institute on Human Development and Disability advancing employment initiatives during the mid-2000s; and National Trainer / Consultant to the Department of Veterans Affairs on the roll-out of Evidence-based Supported Employment for Veterans with serious mental illness. In addition to his technical assistance training and support to national projects, Rich is currently the Principal National Trainer, Fidelity Monitor, and Consultant to two significant studies on Evidence-based Supported Employment; one for Veterans with Spinal Cord Injuries and one for Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Rich has also been a trainer on the development of state and regional resource support centers on Customized and Self Employment, US Department of Labor / Office of Disability Employment Policy initiatives to increase employment outcomes for persons with significant disabilities.

Who Should Participate? Program managers, employment specialists, job developers, job coaches, vocational counselors, educators, employment stakeholders, supports/service coordinators, self-advocates, and families.

You must register for the webinar. Questions can be emailed to Devon Grant, Executive Director for the Governor’s Cabinet for People with Disabilities, or call 717-783-4287. Recordings of past EFSLMP webinars and related resources can be found here.