Brain Injury

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The next Community HealthChoices (CHC) Third Thursday webinar has been scheduled for April 18, 2019 at 1:30 pm.

The agenda for this webinar will include Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) Deputy Secretary Kevin Hancock providing updates on the CHC launch, with a special focus on monitoring report data from both the Southwest and Southeast regions.

If you wish to participate in the webinar, you must register using this link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

If you require captioning services, please use this link and use the following login information:
Username: OLL  Password: OLL

Reminder: All CHC related information can be found online here. Comments can be submitted electronically via email.

If you have any questions, please contact the OLTL Bureau of Policy and Regulatory Management at 717-857-3280.

Registration is now open for the upcoming Community HealthChoices (CHC) Educational Provider Sessions for Phase three regions of the state. The locations for each region are available on the RSVP pages through the links below.

Additionally, one day-long transportation summit will be held in each region. RSVP for this summit here.

The agenda for each summit is as follows:

  • Registration: 8:30 am – 9:30 am
  • CHC Overview Presentation: 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
  • Lunch/MCO Meet and Greet: 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
  • Breakout sessions: 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Prior to the summit meetings, emails will be sent to attendees regarding schedule, parking, and event location on each campus. Additionally, there is a CHC Questions and Answers (Q&A) document on the CHC website as a resource for additional questions.

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The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) issued a bulletin today that explains the Functional Eligibility Determination (FED) process, which is used to determine clinical eligibility for Medical Assistance Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS). Previously, the assessors had used the level of care determination (LCD) tool.

Effective today, OLTL will use the FED process to determine and redetermine whether an individual is nursing facility clinically eligible (NFCE) or nursing facility ineligible (NFI). The FED process is a multi-step process that begins with an assessment and concludes with translating the assessment scores into a determination whether an individual is NFCE.

The bulletin includes details about the various sections of the FED tool itself and provides information on how the assessor enters the information and scores from the FED tool into the Pennsylvania Individualized assessments (PIA).

Once the assessor enters the scores for an individual into the PIA, the PIA automated program translates the scores into a finding of NFCE or NFI. The bulletin includes a matrix that shows how the scores are translated and also includes examples.

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

2019 marks the official 18th anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) — but did you know we can trace its history even further back?

Even before its official declaration, SAAM was about both awareness and prevention of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse. Looking at the history of the movement to end sexual violence, it’s clear why: it’s impossible to prevent an issue no one knows about, and it’s difficult to make people aware of a problem without providing a solution. The two work in tandem, and they always have. From the civil rights movement to the founding of the first rape crisis centers to national legislation and beyond, the roots of SAAM run deep.

Roots of the Movement
As long as there have been people who care about making the world a better place, there have been individuals advocating for sexual assault prevention. In the United States, movements for social change and equality began to gain traction in the 1940s and 50s with the civil rights era. Although open discussion of the realities of sexual assault and domestic violence were limited at these times, activists for equal rights began to challenge the status quo.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month is about more than awareness — the ultimate goal is prevention. Since consent is a clear, concrete example of what it takes to end sexual harassment, abuse, and assault, this year’s theme centers on empowering all of us to put consent into practice. The campaign theme, I Ask, champions the message that asking for consent is a healthy, normal, and necessary part of everyday interactions.

Sexual assault is a serious and widespread problem. Nearly one in five women in the US have experienced rape or attempted rape at some time in their lives, and one in 67 American men have experienced rape or attempted rape. When we talk about prevention, we mean stopping sexual violence before it even has a chance to happen. This means changing the social norms that allow it to exist in the first place, from individual attitudes, values, and behaviors to laws, institutions, and widespread social norms. Prevention is everyone’s responsibility: All of us can create and promote safe environments. We can intervene to stop concerning behavior, promote and model healthy attitudes and relationships, and believe survivors and assist them in finding resources.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) is the leading nonprofit in providing information and tools to prevent and respond to sexual violence. NSVRC translates research and trends into best practices that help individuals, communities, and service providers achieve real and lasting change. The center also works with the media to promote informed reporting. Every April, NSVRC leads Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), a campaign to educate and engage the public in addressing this widespread issue.

Be sure to share your sexual assault awareness programs and activities on social media, and feel free to share on the RCPA Facebook page and Twitter feed as well.

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a memo is on the keyboard of a computer as a reminder: meeting

The Department of Health’s (DOH) Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Advisory Board, established under section 1252 of the Federal Traumatic Brain Injury Act of 1996 (42 U.S.C.A. § 300d-52), will hold a public meeting on Friday, May 10, 2019, from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm. The meeting will be held in the large conference room of the Community Center, 2nd Floor, Giant Food Store, 2300 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg, PA 17110.

Currently in Pennsylvania, nearly 250,000 individuals are living with brain injury. Every year, on average, 8,600 residents of this Commonwealth sustain long term disabilities from brain injury. The DOH’s Head Injury Program (HIP) strives to ensure that eligible individuals who have a TBI receive high quality rehabilitative services aimed at reducing functional limitations and improving quality of life. The Advisory Board assists DOH in understanding and meeting the needs of persons living with TBI and their families. This quarterly meeting will provide updates on a variety of topics, including the number of people served by HIP. In addition, meeting participants will discuss budgetary and programmatic issues, community programs relating to traumatic brain injury, and available advocacy opportunities.

For additional information, or for persons with a disability who wish to attend the meeting and require an auxiliary aid, service, or other accommodation to do so, contact Nicole Johnson, Division of Community Systems Development and Outreach, 717-772-2763, or for speech and/or hearing-impaired persons, contact V/TT 717-783-6514, or the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at 800-654-5984.

In an effort to become more aware of, and knowledgeable about, specific measures to consider improving the quality, consistency, and effectiveness of the Office of Long-Term Living’s (OLTL) application and enrollment procedure, the Department of Human Services (DHS) has issued a Request for Information (RFI). The RFI will be used to gather information and input concerning the application and enrollment services for the beneficiaries of two Medical Assistance (MA) managed care programs, four 1915(c) MA home and community-based services (HCBS) waiver programs, and a state-funded program, all administered by OLTL.


Specifically, the RFI seeks information to assist DHS in determining how it may improve its LTSS application and enrollment process, including services provided by the OLTL Independent Enrollment Broker (IEB) to individuals who apply for and enroll in the Community HealthChoices (CHC) Program, the Pennsylvania Living Independence for the Elderly Program (LIFE), the Aging Waiver, the Attendant Care Waiver, the Independence Waiver and the OBRA Waiver, and the state-funded Act 150 Attendant Care Program.

DHS is requesting that all responses to the RFI be submitted by 12:00 pm on April 22, 2019. Responses must be submitted electronically to this email account with “OLTL Application and Enrollment Services RFI” in the email subject line. RCPA will establish a work group to review the RFI and compile comments to be submitted by the required deadline.

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The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) released the following provider update on electronic visit verification (EVV).

How will Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) impact providers who serve participants in OLTL programs?
As a reminder, EVV is a technology solution which electronically verifies the delivery dates and times of home and community-based services to the individuals needing those services. EVV is intended to require submission of information that will help electronically validate services and prevent fraudulent claims.  Federal law (the 21st  Century Cures Act) requires all state Medicaid agencies implement an EVV solution to manage their personal care services by January 1, 2020, and home health care services by January 1, 2023. The Department of Human Services (DHS) is moving forward with a soft implementation in September of 2019 and DHS will continue to provide you with guidance and updates as we move through this process.  Updated information will be sent to you and will also be included on the DHS website.

Providers Serving Participants Enrolled in the OBRA Waiver or Act 150 Program
Providers serving participants in the OBRA waiver or Act 150 program must adhere to all timelines and guidance issued by DHS in order to comply with EVV requirements in the fee-for-service system. DHS is working with vendors (DXC and Sandata) to develop an EVV system that will integrate with PROMISe, our existing Medicaid Management Information System.  Providers with their own internal EVV system must work with DHS to ensure their EVV system can interface with the DHS EVV aggregator system. Providers without an EVV system may secure their own EVV solution; if they choose to do so, they must follow all guidance issued by DHS to ensure training and implementation requirements are completed in order to implement EVV by September 2019. DHS will issue additional implementation details as they become available.

Providers Serving Participants in an Active Community HealthChoices (CHC) Zone (Southwest or Southeast)
Providers serving participants who are already enrolled in one of the CHC Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) will have the option to use the MCO’s EVV system, HHAeXchange.  A CHC-participating provider with their own internal EVV system must work with each contracted MCO to ensure the provider’s system is able to send information to HHAeXchange. Providers should begin discussing training and system options with their contracted MCO(s) in order to implement EVV by September 2019.

Providers Serving Participants in the Phase 3 Region of CHC
Providers in Phase 3 of CHC, which includes Lehigh/Capital, Northeast, and Northwest Zones, must coordinate the use of EVV with MCOs when Phase 3 is implemented on January 1, 2020. This includes providers currently serving participants in Aging, Attendant Care, and Independence waivers. Providers who will be participating in CHC will have the option to use the MCO’s EVV system, HHAeXchange.  A CHC-participating provider with their own internal EVV system must work with each contracted MCO to ensure the provider’s system is able to send information to HHAeXchange. Providers currently serving participants in the Phase 3 region of CHC should begin discussing training and system options with the three MCOs to ensure that they will be able to use EVV when they transition to CHC on January 1, 2020.

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

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data contained in a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) report, “Emergency Department Visits for Sports and Recreation-Related (SRR) Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) Among Children – United States, 2010–2016.”

Some of the data includes:

  • An estimated 283,000 children seek care in US emergency departments each year for a sports-or recreation-related TBI
  • Contact sports contributed to nearly half (45 percent) of the SRR-TBI visits examined
  • The activities with the highest number of SRR-TBI visits included: football, bicycling, basketball, playground activities, and soccer
  • Males and children aged 10–14 and 15–17 were most likely to sustain an SRR-TBI

The report includes prevention efforts and strategies to reduce the risk for SRR-TBI, including but not limited to limiting player-to-player collisions through rule changes, teaching strategies to reduce opportunities for head impacts, and using pre-participation athletic examinations to identify athletes at increased risk for TBI.

The CDC has many resources available, including:

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