Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

ODP made the decision to continue the Vacancy Exception Process for cost based rates that were effective from July 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017, similar to the process for previous fiscal years. This process is applicable to residential habilitation service providers that signed the Addendum to Provider Agreement for the Settlement Agreement. Providers who wish to submit a vacancy exception request and did not sign the Addendum to Provider Agreement, please refer to ODP Informational Memo 003-13 for further information.

In order to submit a request for exception to the vacancy factor for Fiscal Year 17/18, the provider needs to complete a Vacancy Exception Request Form. If additional lines are needed, please contact the rate setting mailbox for the expanded version of the form.

If an agency has completed billing for the time period of July 1 to December 31, 2017, the Excel template must be emailed to the Regional Program Manager and rate setting mailbox by May 11, 2018. If an agency has not completed billing by the due date and they anticipate the need to submit, the rate setting mailbox must be contacted.

  • The announcement can be found here.
  • The Vacancy Exception Request form can be found here.

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) has issued Bulletin 00-18-01, Guidelines Concerning Sexual Health, Personal Relationships, and Sexuality, effective April 13, 2018. The purpose of the bulletin is to encourage providers to develop policies consistent with the guidelines.

In 2016, ODP contracted with the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University to form a cross system, statewide committee of individuals with disabilities, professionals, family members, provider organizations, educators, medical professionals, and direct care staff to review and update the guidelines that were distributed in 1996.

The bulletin listed below is a result of that committee’s work. These guidelines are being issued to:

  • Promote an environment where individuals with disabilities can pursue personal relationships and their sexuality;
  • Promote an environment where individuals with disabilities can receive objective, non-judgmental, comprehensive information regarding sexual health and relationships; and
  • Establish an expectation that provider agencies develop policies on sexual health, personal relationships, and sexuality consistent with the guidelines.

Bulletin 00-96-23, “Guidelines concerning Sexuality” issued December 31, 1996, is now obsolete. A link to the new bulletin and guidelines are here:

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) has distributed Announcement 035-18: Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Settings Self-Assessment Period. Providers of the services listed below are required to complete the online HCBS Provider Self-Assessments in response to the HCBS Settings Rule published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) by 11:59 pm on June 12, 2018. Service locations for which ODP has not received a completed self-assessment will be deemed non-compliant.

  • Community Participation Support in the Consolidated, Person/Family-Directed Support, and/or Community Living Waivers;
  • Day Habilitation in the Adult Autism Waiver and/or Adult Community Autism Program;
  • Residential Habilitation in the Consolidated Waiver and/or Adult Autism Waiver;
  • Life Sharing in the Consolidated and/or Community Living Waivers; and
  • Family Living in the Adult Autism Waiver.

Compliance with the HCBS Settings Rule for service settings for all other ODP Waiver services will be completed through the Quality Assessment and Improvement (QA&I) Process.

The HCBS Settings Rule requires that states assess all residential and non-residential settings which receive funding or payment through an approved HCBS waiver. The intent of the HCBS Settings Rule is to:

  • Ensure individuals receiving HCBS have full access to benefits of community living and the opportunity to receive services in the most integrated setting appropriate;
  • Enhance the quality of HCBS; and
  • Provide protections to participants.

This includes opportunities to seek employment, work in competitive and integrated settings, engage in community life, control personal resources, and receive services in the community to the same degree as people who do not receive HCBS.

Adjustments to these tools were made based on feedback received through the pilot, and also based upon public feedback after the tools were released for public comment February 22 – March 16, 2018. The Provider Self-Assessment will assist in identifying potential areas of non-compliance and allow the provider to develop a corrected action plan outlining how they plan to achieve full compliance. It is important to note that the intent of the self-assessment is not to close or terminate any home or community-based services but instead to enable stakeholders to plan for transition to meet compliance with the Settings Rule.

The following documents have been made available for viewing/download:

Person Centered Thinking is a core concept at the foundation of the services and supports provided to people with intellectual disabilities and autism in Pennsylvania. People with disabilities, self-advocates, and other stakeholders are invited to come and learn about Person Centered Thinking and how it can be used to enhance the quality of life of the people we support.

The training is an interactive, two-day training that services as a foundation for everyone involved in supporting people with significant disabilities. You must attend both days in order to complete the training and receive a certificate of attendance. These skills will help teams develop meaningful Individual Support Plans that help people with disabilities achieve an Everyday Life.

The trainings are scheduled for Harrisburg and Malvern in April and May. Please see the ODP announcement for details.

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 Executive Order 2016-02, Minimum Wage for Employees of the Commonwealth and of Organizations Receiving State Contracts, was signed by Governor Tom Wolf on March 7, 2016. The Executive Order raised the hourly minimum wage paid to employees of Commonwealth agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction, and by contractors to workers performing work on or in connection with covered State contracts, to $10.15 per hour beginning July 1, 2016 — also beginning January 1, 2017, and annually thereafter, an amount determined in accordance with the methodology set forth in the Executive Order. Effective July 1, 2017, the hourly minimum wage paid to employees of Commonwealth agencies under the Governor’s jurisdiction, and by contractors to workers performing work on or in connection with covered State contracts, increased to $10.20 per hour. The applicable adjusted amount shall be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin by March 1 of each year to be effective the following July 1.

Please refer to the PA Bulletin notice issued February 24, 2018, by the Office of Administration for details. Therefore, effective July 1, 2018, all OVR Work Based Learning Experience (WBLE) stipends, and OJTs paid by or to Community Rehabilitation Program vendors of OVR (i.e., state contractors) must be increased to $10.35 per hour. As this pertains to existing Innovation & Expansion (I&E) contracts and grants, and many I&E agreements expire 9/30/18, amendments will need to be made to them to cover the increase in the student stipend. Changes to these will be addressed first with Office of Chief Counsel, and then with the individual vendor.

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) is requesting that providers of ODP services complete a survey regarding their current practices and use of Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) systems, and to identify providers who will need a system. Providers are requested to complete the survey by Friday April 20, 2018.

The 21st Century Cures Act requires electronic visit verification systems for Medicaid-funded person care services (PCS) and home health care services. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) states that personal care services consist of services that support activities of daily living (ADL) such as movement, bathing, toileting, transferring, and personal hygiene, or that offer support for instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), such as meal preparation, money management, shopping, and telephone use. For more information of the EVV requirement for PCS, use this link.

EVV use for PCS must be implemented by January 1, 2019, and home health by January 1, 2023. The Department of Human Services (DHS) has been reviewing information from current stakeholders and understands that many providers already use an EVV system and DHS needs to utilize an open system that can compile data from those existing systems. DHS plans to use the existing PROMISe fiscal agent contract with DXC to comply with the federal requirement for EVV by January 1, 2019. This will be an open system that will receive information from existing EVV systems being used by providers AND will provide EVV for PCS providers who do not have their own system.

DHS also recently released a request for information directed at EVV vendors. This information will give DHS an understanding of the full capabilities of EVV systems and the needs of providers, and inform DHS’ next steps with the possibility of a future procurement. Read ODP’s announcement here.