Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

Hershey Country Club
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

RCPA PAC is looking for sponsors for its 3rd annual golf outing at the beautiful Hershey Country Club on Tuesday, September 27! There are many sponsorship levels available and we hope you will help support RCPA PAC. Please act now; sponsorships go fast!! Reserve your sponsorship here.

The RPCA PAC raises money and supports campaigns of state legislators who work tirelessly on issues that benefit mental health, intellectual disability, addictive disease treatment, brain injury, medical and vocational rehabilitation, and other related human services. The funds raised can make the difference between a win and a loss on an issue or assist in making a new ally. Even if you can’t be a strong contributor to RPCA PAC fundraising efforts, we all have friends and business associates who are interested in helping our allies to victory. Getting involved not only allows you to help make decisions on who the committee supports, but also helps to identify new folks who will join in our successes. Further questions may be directed to Jack Phillips.

Your feedback is greatly needed. The US Department of Labor (DOL) has issued its final overtime rule which increases the threshold related to the overtime exemption. This has caused great concern among RCPA members as there is no additional funding being proposed to cover the cost of this change. RCPA will be submitting testimony and testifying in front of the Senate Labor and Industry and Senate Appropriations Committees on Tuesday, June 21 regarding this issue. In preparation for this important Senate hearing, we are asking members to complete this SURVEY no later than Wednesday, June 15, so that we have data to present in addition to our concerns.

If you have already taken the survey, you do not need to provide feedback again. We appreciate your attention and input regarding this very important issue. Thank you.

Please contact RCPA Director of Government Affairs Jack Phillips with any questions.

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.

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.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a final rule in the May 4, 2016 Federal Register that updates health care facilities’ fire protection guidelines to improve protections from fire for Medicare beneficiaries in facilities.

The new guidelines apply to hospitals; long-term care (LTC) facilities; critical access hospitals; inpatient hospice facilities; programs for all-inclusive care for the elderly; religious non-medical health care institutions; ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs); and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF-IID). This rule adopts updated provisions of the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) 2012 edition of the Life Safety Code, as well as provisions of the NFPA’s 2012 edition of the Health Care Facilities Code.

Some of the main provisions in the final rule include:

  • Health care facilities located in buildings that are taller than 75 feet are required to install automatic sprinkler systems within twelve years after the rule’s effective date;
  • Health care facilities are required to have a fire watch or building evacuation if their sprinkler system is out of service for more than ten hours;
  • The provisions offer LTC facilities greater flexibility in what they can place in corridors;
  • Fireplaces will be permitted in smoke compartments without a one hour fire wall rating;
  • Cooking facilities now may have an opening to the hallway corridor;
  • For ASCs, all doors to hazardous areas must be self-closing or must close automatically; and
  • Expanded sprinkler requirements for ICF-IIDs.

Health care providers affected by this rule must comply with all regulations within 60 days of the May 4, 2016 publication date, unless otherwise specified in the final rule.

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.