Brain Injury

This week, both the US Senate and US House introduced bipartisan legislation (HR 5912 in the House and S 2897 in the Senate) designed to delay implementation of the Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) provision of the 21st Century Cures Act and require public input from stakeholders. The bill was led by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and co-sponsored by a range of Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and House. The EVV delay bill gives states an additional year to implement EVV, having it take effect on January 1, 2020 instead of January 1, 2019.

In late 2016, Congress had ordered states to install EVV systems as a way of preventing fraud in Medicaid as part of the 21st Century Cures Act, but many challenges arose after the bill passed. This is partially due to CMS not releasing guidance on the EVV statute until May 2018, leaving states in the dark for a full 18 months following passage of the EVV law. Even despite CMS’ recent guidance, many concerns remain about which disability supports and services are required to comply with the rule. Additionally, because there has been little stakeholder input, questions abound about privacy, costs, and other aspects of compliance.

Please contact your legislators and ask them to support the EVV delay bill. The American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) has been instrumental in advocating for this legislation; RCPA is proud to be a member of ANCOR and appreciates their initiative on this issue.

The following documents provide information from the Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) regarding the Certified Employment Specialist Professional (CESP) recertification process and the requirements for Continuing Education (CE) credits.

The CESP Certification is valid for a 3-year period, during which time the CESP must demonstrate a commitment to professional development by obtaining 36 CE Credits in order to maintain their certification. One CE credit is equivalent to one hour of clock time (except as noted on the “Requirements for Continuing Education Form”). Documentation which verifies the reported number of CE credits must be submitted with the recertification application. Repeat CE activities/content within the same 3-year recertification cycle will NOT count for credit.

In addition to providing appropriate documentation of 36 CE Credits, the recertification application must be submitted with the recertification fee of $125 paid per 3-year term.

Please refer to the following documents for more detailed information:

On May 11, 2018, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced a new federal rule that will allow VA doctors, nurses, and other health care providers to administer care to Veterans using telehealth, regardless of where in the United States the provider or Veteran is located. This includes across state lines and outside of a VA facility.

Previously, it was unclear whether VA providers could furnish care to Veterans in other states through telehealth because of licensing restrictions or state-specific telehealth laws. This new rule exercises federal preemption to override those state restrictions, paving the way for VA to expand care to Veterans using telehealth.

The Office of Long Term Living (OLTL) is inviting all interested parties to participate in a webinar that provides information on Certified Employment Support Professional (CESP) certification/credentialing. The growth in the number of individuals seeking CESP certification demonstrates the increased demand for training and consultation to educate and certify employment support professionals. These webinars will cover the basics of the CESP, including the upcoming changes to the test delivery to be given in a computer-based format. While information will be presented on the OLTL requirements on certification/credentialing, and the impact the requirements have on the certification of organizations and staff, these webinars should provide helpful information to ODP Stakeholders as well. The webinar will provide information about this certification, the process of becoming certified, the requirements, and the opportunities that exist for organizations to rise to this challenge.

The webinars will be presented by Ms. Kari Tietjen, CESP Director, National Association of People Supporting Employment. The OLTL requirements will be presented by Mr. Edward M. Butler, Employment Specialist, OLTL.

Please register here for the CESP Webinar on Monday, July 9, 2018, 1:00 PM EDT

Please register here for the CESP Webinar on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, 9:00 AM EDT

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you have questions regarding this email, please contact Edward M. Butler, OLTL, via email or call 717-214-3718. ODP Stakeholders with questions, please contact the Employment Leads in your region.

Due to the Southeast Community HealthChoices (CHC) provider meetings being held in Philadelphia on June 4 – June 8, 2018, the Managed Long-Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) Subcommittee meeting scheduled for June 6, 2018 has been rescheduled for Wednesday, May 30, 2018. The May 30 MLTSS Subcommittee meeting will be held at the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Honor’s Suite, 1st Floor, 333 Market Street Tower, Harrisburg, PA 17126 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Long-Term Living via email or call 717-857-3280.

Join RCPA as it hosts its 2018 conference October 2 – 4 at the Hershey Lodge. The Conference Committee is excited to release this year’s Sponsors, Exhibitors, and Advertisers brochure, with new opportunities to get in on the action – from exhibit hall to an awards luncheon and everything in between.

Don’t miss your chance to be seen and to support the work of this dynamic organization! The event is a highlight for the Pennsylvania mental health, drug and alcohol, intellectual and developmental disabilities, children’s, brain injury, medical rehabilitation, and physical disabilities and aging provider community.

Benefits for Exhibitors
Exhibit activities take place October 3 – 4. Based on your feedback last year, we have increased the length of time exhibit hall is open and the number of activities offered. RCPA encourages all interested parties to complete the contract now! Events within Exhibit Hall include two lunch meals, a reception, breakfast, coffee breaks, and prize giveaways. Exhibit hours occur during the two busiest days of the conference, increasing the likelihood that exhibitors – an integral component to conference success – have the opportunity to interact with attendees. A “Best of Show” competition provides even more opportunities to engage guests and winners receive a discount on 2019 exhibit rates.

Interaction with conference guests outside of the exhibit area is just as important! Participating in other conference events such as receptions, meals, and educational offerings provides exhibitors greater potential and flexibility to establish opportunities for business. RCPA includes two exhibitor registrations with the exhibit fee; and since exhibitors can attend the entire conference, RCPA encourages organizations to use those registrations fully.

Exciting New Sponsorship Opportunities
The association is privileged to have the backing of the finest organizations in the field for its conference. Through the use of sponsorship circles, RCPA is able to honor all supporting organizations. Within each sponsorship circle, specific events and items such as meals, receptions, conference tote bags, attendee materials, etc. are available, providing additional “name recognition” for sponsors. Please review sponsorship materials and contact Sarah Eyster to reserve your opportunity.

Sign Up Now
The deadline for inclusion in all digital materials is July 31. Sponsors, exhibitors, and advertisers who wish to be listed on the website, the mobile app, and in the online conference program must adhere to that deadline.

The association looks forward to welcoming you at the conference! Space and opportunities are reserved on a first come, first-served basis and no reservation is considered complete without payment. For additional questions, please contact Sarah Eyster, Conference Coordinator.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) has created a brain injury identification wallet card. The card was created as a result of a telephone call from an individual with a brain injury who moved from another state. The individual was inquiring as to whether PA had a card that could be used in emergent situations that would easily identify him as having a brain injury and his symptoms. The wallet card is available on the DOH website. The intent of the card is to provide a document for individuals with a brain injury that could be used to communicate their symptoms and emergency information to emergency personnel or the public.

The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) is offering a webinar on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, at 9:00 am that will focus on the topic of Pennsylvania Resources for Funding Assistive Technology. Assistive technology devices help make it possible for individuals with disabilities to work, live independently in their own homes, go to school, and participate in the community. Mrs. Susan Tachau, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF), will conduct the webinar.

Registration is required to participate in the webinar. Registrants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Questions should be directed to Edward Butler, OLTL, at 717-214-3718.

On March 9, 2018, Representative Tina Pickett introduced House Resolution 741 designating the month of March 2018 as “Brain Injury Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. The resolution was adopted (188–0) on March 14, 2018. A similar co-sponsorship memo was introduced in the Senate by Senator Schwank and will be voted on in the near future. March is nationally recognized as Brain Injury Awareness Month as well.