Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) has issued the new Provider Agreement. Effective January 1, 2020, the Provider Agreement must be filled out and submitted by the legal entity of each waiver provider. Only one agreement should be submitted per provider, regardless of the number of service locations or services provided by the agency. Instructions for completing and returning the agreement are included within the document. Questions may be directed to the ODP Provider Enrollment Unit.

Senate Bill 906 SB 906, calling for a state center closure moratorium, has passed the House by a vote of 139–55. The bill amends the Mental Health and Intellectual Disability Act, in preliminary provisions, further providing for definitions; and, in responsibilities of the State, providing for a state center closure moratorium. The amendment sponsored by state Representative Lee James passed Tuesday, January 14, 2020. The measure eradicates previous wording on the bill that placed a moratorium on the closure of state centers until all Medicaid waiver-eligible individuals on the waiting list (of over 13,000) received funding for home or community-based care. The moratorium would now have a five-year limit.

The bill calls for the creation of a task force on the closure of state centers. The task force would convene within 60 days and be comprised of the Secretary of Department of Human Services, one representative from each state center, one representative from the Governor’s office, the chair and minority chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and House Human Services Committee, two family members of residents of state centers, and one representative of a nonprofit organization that serves as an advocate for those with intellectual disabilities. The bill now goes back to the Senate as the bill was amended on the floor yesterday.

We are pleased to offer our members a half-day DSP Magnet™ Workshop focusing on recruitment strategies and retention for Direct Support Professional positions. Craig and Scott de Fasselle are the father/son team who presented two webinars for RCPA members on these subjects. Many of our members who participated in the webinars found them to be helpful and thought-provoking. Now is the opportunity to meet them in person and dive into the topics that are so important to attracting and keeping the staff so critical to our work.

The workshop will be offered twice in order to extend the opportunity to more of our members. Attendees will get a mix of group exercises, individual exercises, and presentations all geared to attracting applicants, improved on-boarding and training experience, and building positive agency culture in order to maintain your best employees.

Date:   Thursday, April 16, 2020
Time:  Session 1, 9:00 am – 12:15 pm  ♦   Session 2, 1:00 pm – 4:15 pm
Place: 777 East Park Drive, Harrisburg, PA, 17111
Cost:   $89 for RCPA members

Space is limited, so please register today in order to reserve your place. Registration is limited to RCPA members only until February 1, 2020. If space permits at that time, registration will be open to non-members for $119.

Please see the event flyer for more information. See video previews below of what attendees get out of our recruiting and retention workshops:

Contact Carol Ferenz with any questions.

You are cordially invited to Representative Joseph Hohenstein’s all-day summit in Philadelphia on Thursday, January 16. The summit will highlight the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Democrat Caucus will also be holding two separate policy hearings during January to recognize this occasion.

Register for Rep. Hohenstein’s Philadelphia event here, which will be hosted at Community Behavioral Health. There are a number of confirmed speakers ranging from service providers, the Philadelphia Eagles (discussing the Quiet Room at Lincoln Financial Field), Comcast (discussing technological advances to help people with intellectual disabilities access the internet and communicate), Senator Casey’s and Gov. Wolf’s offices (to discuss federal and state legislative initiatives), as well as others.

If you have any questions, please contact Jack Phillips, RCPA Director of Government Affairs.

The Office of Developmental Programs: Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations (ODP: BSASP), and the Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training Collaborative (ASERT) are trying to learn more about training needs among providers across all systems that support individuals with autism, intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, and their families.

The data collected from this survey will be used by ODP to inform trainings that reflect the needs of provider and professional organizations throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The deadline for survey responses is January 31, 2020. If you have any questions, please submit them here.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has approved the Office of Long-Term Living’s (OLTL) Community HealthChoices (CHC) Waiver renewal. The renewal became effective on January 1, 2020.

Key changes in the approved waiver include:

  • Revised the Residential Habilitation service definition by modifying the number of hours that are defined as a day unit from a minimum of 12 hours to a minimum of 8 hours.
  • To the service definitions of Job Finding, Job Coaching, Employment Skills Development, Career Assessment and Benefits Counseling, added language that Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) services are considered to not be available if OVR has not made an eligibility determination within 120 days; and added language to address when employment services through the CHC waiver can be provided should OVR close the order of selection, thereby creating a waiting list for OVR services.
  • Modified the qualifications for Service Coordinators and Service Coordinator supervisors.
  • Clarified that if a CHC Managed Care Organization (MCO) identifies that a participant has not been receiving services for 5 or more days, and if the suspension of services was not pre-planned, then the CHC-MCO must communicate with the participant to determine the reason for the service suspension within 24 hours. If the participant’s health status or needs have changed, the CHC-MCO must conduct a comprehensive needs reassessment of the participant’s needs within fourteen (14) days of identifying the issue.
  • Added that an emergency back-up plan must be included in the Person-Centered Service Plan.
  • Modified language to reflect that the CHC waiver will be fully operational statewide as of January 1, 2020.
  • Updated language to reflect that the Department utilizes IDEMIA as the data system to process fingerprint-based Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal record checks.
  • Updated the OLTL bureau names and responsibilities.

Questions surrounding the CHC Waiver Renewal should be directed to the OLTL Bureau of Policy Development and Communications Management at 717-857-3280.

The ODP Adult Autism Waiver (AAW) requires Supports Coordinators (SCs) to administer a battery of assessments at intake, annually, and as needs change. Included in that battery of assessments is administering the Scales of Independent Behavior – Revised (SIBr). It has come to the department’s attention that the SIBr software will not be compatible with the most recent versions of Microsoft.

ODP Announcement 19-166 informs that as of January 1, 2020, the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations (BSASP) expects all SCs to administer the SIBr and send the raw scores to BSASP, as currently designed, with these changes:

  • Since the scores will not be calculated, it is expected that SCs and teams use the raw scores and SIBr response booklet to do an item analysis that will aid in planning for the participant’s supports and services.
  • Identifying those items in the assessment in which the participant’s score is low should be a prompt for the team to consider goals and supports that address the potential area of weakness.

The SIBr response booklet should be kept in the participant’s file and may be reviewed for completion during monitoring activities. Please submit questions here.

Training Concept. Button on Modern Computer Keyboard.

ODP Announcement 20-001 provides information regarding the Modified Medication Administration Training course that is now available. The modified course was designed specifically for those who administer medications in Lifesharing locations or service locations not licensed by the Department. This course does not meet the medication administration training requirements of other service locations licensed by the Department.

With the implementation of the Chapter 6100 Regulations, this course is mandatory for Lifesharers who administer medications or those who administer medications in service locations not licensed by the department. This course is not required for the administration of medication by an adult relative of an individual who receives services in an unlicensed setting. The course is required when an adult relative is supporting a family member in an unlicensed life sharing home.

The Modified Medication Administration Course may be accessed on MyODP. Questions may be directed here.

On December 24, 2019, DHS announced the approval of the Department’s Good Faith Effort (GFE) Exemption application for the Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) implementation. This GFE does not change DHS’ expectations of providers of personal care services to comply with the requirements of the 21st Century Cures Act. The Department will continue with a soft launch period through June 30, 2020. Throughout this time, providers must begin using EVV and complete any integration and certification activities if they have not been completed already. The Department continues to develop a policy bulletin that will outline additional requirements, including compliance benchmarks for manually edited visits. This bulletin will be released as soon as it is finalized.

During claims processing in PROMISeTM, EVV validation against the EVV Aggregator will continue to be performed and EVV Error Service Codes (ESCs) will set without impacting claim payment. During the extended soft launch period, the expectation is that provider/provider agency/Agency with Choice and Vendor Fiscal/Employer Agent billing staff will note when the EVV edit(s) set and actively make corrections either to the data stored in the DHS EVV Aggregator or the claim itself to ensure errors do not repeat. DHS will be monitoring which EVV edits set and how often.

Regular updates to the stakeholder community will be made on the progress of the implementation. Outreach and technical assistance will be performed based on results and as applicable. As of July 1, 2020, any claims without a corresponding EVV visit or any mismatches between what is found on the claim versus what is found in the EVV Aggregator will be denied.

2020 EVV Implementation Timeline:

  • January 1, 2020: All Providers must begin using EVV for Personal Care Services (PCS).
  • January 2020 – March 2020: All Providers must complete system integration activities with the DHS Aggregator for fee-for-service programs. Providers who are experiencing difficulties in integrating and will not be ready by March 2020 are asked to submit an extension request using this form, documenting the difficulties they are experiencing no later than February 1, 2020. The completed form should be emailed to the EVV resource account.
  • Starting July 1, 2020: Claims submitted for Personal Care Services without a matching EVV visit will be denied.

If providers have not yet completed the necessary steps to implement EVV, please contact the appropriate entity to complete the necessary training and system integration activities.

OLTL and ODP Fee-For-Service Providers

  • The DHS Sandata system training is available for providers electing to use the DHS Sandata system. Providers using the DHS system must complete this training in order to begin setting up their agency accounts and security permissions. Providers may register for the independent web-based training offered through Sandata here.
  • The DHS Aggregator will receive information from Alternate EVV systems being used by providers in fee-for-service programs.
  • Providers using Alternate EVV systems should contact Sandata at 855-705-2407 to complete Alternate EVV system integration activities for fee-for-service programs.

Current Community HealthChoices (CHC) Providers and Aging, Attendant Care, and Independence Waiver Providers

  • If providers are electing to use the HHAeXchange EVV system offered by the Managed Care Organizations (MCOs), providers must work with the MCOs to complete training and other onboarding requirements.
  • Providers using Alternate EVV systems in CHC will need to send their EVV data to the CHC-MCOs.
  • Providers should contact HHAeXchange to complete Alternate EVV system integration activities for CHC.