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The Department of Human Services (DHS) just announced their decision to lengthen the transition time for the start of the Community HealthChoices (CHC) program. The first phase (southwest part of the state) was originally scheduled to be implemented on January 1, 2017. The implementation date of phase one has now been changed to begin July 1, 2017.

The decision to extend the start date allows more time for the 420,000 Pennsylvanians who will ultimately benefit from CHC to understand the program adjustments that will occur, including how access to and receipt of home- and community-based services will be improved.

All other established CHC timeframes will remain the same. The selection of managed care companies, changes in the Commonwealth’s information technology systems, and other changes are still proceeding on the same timeframe. The implementation of phases two and three (the southeast and remainder of the Commonwealth) also remain on the previously announced timelines of 2018 and 2019, respectively.

The commencement of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics through Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services, and the growing movement of individual providers to create medical homes to provide clients with co-located mental health and primary care providers in one facility, holds tremendous promise and opportunity for the coordination and enhancement of delivery of care to clients. These new provider relationships in shared office and facility spaces create new legal issues for providers under the federal Stark law and Anti-kickback statute. Providers must ensure that they do not inadvertently run afoul of these important federal fraud and abuse laws.

RCPA will offer a webinar presented by Renee H. Martin, JD, RN, MSN, a partner in the firm of Dilworth Paxson, LLP. This webinar will describe the legal requirements providers must be aware of under these federal laws and help to apply that knowledge in structuring financial relationships for use of these shared spaces. The webinar is intended for provider organizations’ executive staff, project planners, and legal counsel.

Stark Law and Integrated Health Care Webinar
Wednesday, June 29
12:00 – 1:00 pm
Register today

  • RCPA member registration is $25
  • Non-member registration is $40

Presenter: Ms. Martin exclusively practices health care law and advises both individual and institutional health care providers on regulatory and transactional matters. A significant portion of her practice centers on mental health and substance abuse law, including HIPAA, informational privacy, and fraud and abuse compliance. Ms. Martin has assisted in the formation of regional health information centers and mental health medical homes, working closely with federally qualified health centers and mental health providers.

RCPA will now distribute INFOS and ALERTS covering research, delivery and training models, policy issues, and other topics that will inform our members about collaborative, integrated, and co-located health care. To subscribe to this distribution list, select this link and check “Integrated Care.” This will add to your existing email preference selections.

Dear Colleagues:

We are excited to announce that we have received 14 responses to the recent request for proposal (RFP) issued for Community Health Choices (CHC). This vital program will allow the departments of Human Services and Aging to serve more Pennsylvanians in their communities and allow consumers to have an active voice in the services they receive.

RCPA will host its annual conference at the Hershey Lodge on September 27–30, 2016. At this large-scale, statewide event, the RCPA board of directors wants to continue the important tradition of recognizing individuals and organizations/facilities for their dedication and commitment to service. The following award categories have been created for this event and recognition:

  1. RCPA Innovation Award. Presented to an individual or organization in recognition of significant innovation. Examples include cross-systems integration, physical/behavioral health integration, and implementation of new technologies. Up to three awards may be given in any year.
  2. Exemplary Service to RCPA Award. Presented to an individual or organization/facility that has shown a strong commitment and dedication in service to the association, its members, and related issues.
  3. Legislative Leadership Award. Presented to an individual who has shown significant leadership and commitment to government affairs and legislative issues, on behalf of RCPA and its members.
  4. Community Leadership Award. Presented to an individual in recognition of extending service and knowledge to the community at large, and efforts in helping the community understand the needs of individuals served by RCPA members. This can be for specific or short-term significant acts, or to recognize a career-long body of work.
  5. Lifetime Achievement Award. Presented to an individual in honor of his/her significant, consistent, and enduring contribution throughout his/her career in support and furthering of the field.

At this time, RCPA is accepting nominations through an open solicitation of members (e.g., designated contact person, CEOs/executive directors, staff) and RCPA committees. Members may nominate one or more individuals/organizations in one or more categories. Nominations will be reviewed by a sub-group of the board of directors to make recommendations for final selection and approval by the full board.

Include the name/organization (if applicable) of the nominee, the award category, and a statement about why you believe the individual/organization should be honored. Nominations should be made by Monday, May 16. Please send nominations to Cindy Lloyd.

Award recipients are not limited to RCPA members and every award may not be presented annually. Please join the association in continuing this tradition and in offering nominations for those who deserve recognition for their significant contributions.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has made available for public review and comment the proposed Community HealthChoices (CHC) 1915(b) waiver and the proposed CHC 1915(c) waiver amendments, as published in the April 23, 2016 Pennsylvania Bulletin. If approved, the waiver will govern the operation of the CHC program, Pennsylvania’s managed long-term services and supports initiative.

Available for review on the DHS website are the proposed CHC concurrent 1915(b) and (c) waiver application and a detailed summary of all provisions, including a list of long-term services and supports which will be covered under the 1915 (c) waiver, and a summary of the person-centered planning requirements, participant fair hearing rights and grievance and complaint procedures, participant safeguards, quality management processes, payment methodologies, and cost effectiveness demonstration.

The Office of Long-Term Living will offer two CHC Waiver webinars in May for public input and discussion:

The public comment period ends Monday, May 23, 2016. Comments received within the 30-day comment period will be reviewed and considered for revisions to the applications.

A Question and Response Addendum has been added to the PA e-Marketplace website, for the request for proposals (RFP) for managed care organizations that will be submitting their proposals and responses for the Community HealthChoices program. The addendum is located under “Flyers/Addendums” on the web page. The 81-page addendum includes the RFP section, questions, and answers to each question posed.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) will be submitting amendments to the Aging, Attendant Care, and Independence waivers. The public notice announcing the amendments will appear in the April 2, 2016 Pennsylvania Bulletin.

To view a side-by-side comparison of the current and revised language, and to access the amendments in their entirety (including specific HCBS Allowable Settings Transition Plans and the Community HealthChoices Transition Plans for each waiver, contained in the Main Module), visit the OLTL Waiver Amendment, Renewals, and Accompanying HCBS Transition Plans website and select the individual waiver amendment you would like to review under “Related Topics.”

OLTL is seeking public comment on the Aging, Attendant Care, and Independence waiver amendments. Those interested are invited to submit written comments to the Department of Human Services, Office of Long-Term Living, Bureau of Policy and Regulatory Management, Attention: Aging Waiver, Independence Waiver, or Attendant Care Waiver, PO Box 8025, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8025. Comments can also be sent via email, using the comment form link. On this site, select the individual waiver amendment you would like to view under “Related Topics” and the comment form will be listed in the documents.

The public comment period ends on Monday, May 2, 2016. Comments received within the 30-day comment period will be reviewed and considered for revisions to the amendments.

OLTL will offer two webinars in April for public input and discussion:

Aging, Attendant Care, and Independence Waiver Changes Webinar
Wednesday, April 13, 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Aging, Attendant Care, and Independence Waiver Changes Webinar
Tuesday, April 19, 10:00 – 11:00 am