Mental Health

The Department of Human Services (DHS) proposes to add Chapters 1155 and 5240 relating to IBHS to Title 55 of the Pennsylvania Code. The proposed rulemaking is published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on August 4, 2018 and can be accessed here.

Written comments, suggestions, or objections regarding this proposed rulemaking may be submitted to the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) at the following address:

Attention: Tara Pride, Bureau of Policy, Planning and Program Development, Commonwealth Towers, 11th Floor, PO Box 2675, 303 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA 17105 or by email during the 30-day public comment period, which closes September 4, 2018.

The next RCPA BHRS/IBHS work group will be held on Wednesday, August 15. The work group will compile comments from discussions held over the past year and those offered by the members of the group. We are asking providers who choose to send comments into OMHSAS directly to also send a copy of your comments to Robena Spangler. This is our long-awaited opportunity to provide input into the regulations; we hope that all BHRS providers and ABA professionals are engaged. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at the email address above.

Contact Tribune-Review

Editorial: Lend your feedback to the Pa. School Safety Task Force

RCPA is encouraging our members to take this opportunity to provide Governor Wolf and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale with input about what state officials and the mental health community should do to improve school safety. The task force, led by Governor Wolf and Auditor General DePasquale, is compiling a report due later this year.

The Task Force’s mission is to evaluate issues such as funding for school safety, access to physical and mental health support, effectiveness of state requirements for training and security, how well safety issues are reported, and whether precautions like anonymous tip tools are in place. The Pennsylvania School Safety Task Force was formed after the Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Please use this link to submit feedback.

In preparation for the launch of Community HealthChoices (CHC) in the Southeast region, this CHC Fact Sheet explains the delivery of service coordination through the program. Under CHC, service coordination is a function of the managed care organizations (MCOs). A service coordinator is the MCO’s designated, accountable point-of-contact for each participant receiving long-term care services, their person-centered service plan, and service coordination. Therefore, the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) sees the service coordinators as part of the MCO under CHC.

In addition to the fact sheets, there are now short, easily digestible overview trainings on CHC that can be found here in order to increase stakeholder knowledge in anticipation of the Southeast rollout of the program.

To assist stakeholders in finding answers to questions more quickly, all FAQs have been consolidated into a single CHC Questions and Answers Document. The new document is in searchable PDF format and contains a table of contents that allows the user to easily move to different sections within the document.

The CHC Questions and Answers Document can be found on both the Participant and Provider sections of the CHC website by clicking on “View CHC Publications” or by following this link.

CONTACT: If you have any questions, please visit the CHC website or submit comments via email.

Transformational Change Requires Transformational Leadership
National Council for Behavioral Health and MTM Services Webinar Series

The move to measurement-based care as well as the operational, clinical, and financial changes ahead for behavioral health providers require transformational leadership. Get equipped to be successful in this changing world — join David Lloyd, founder of MTM Services, in a two-part webinar where he will revisit his popular NatCon18 presentation, share his insights based on more than twenty-five years of implementing transformational change, and take questions from the audience.

About the Webinars
On Thursday, June 21 at 12:30 pm ET, David will address the biggest challenges facing today’s behavioral health care providers and how to assess an organization’s readiness for change, including strengths and areas of risk.

Then on Wednesday, July 11 at 12:30 pm ET, David will discuss tangible strategies for shifting to a sustained Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) -based change process, including appropriate roles for all team members.

Have a question about one of the topics? Submit your questions at the end of your registration and it will be addressed during the appropriate webinar session.

Register today.

June 19, 2018
2:00 – 3:30 PM ET

Presenter: Joe Parks, MD, Medical Director, National Council for Behavioral Health

Register for free here.

The use of medications to treat mental illness and opioid and alcohol use disorders can produce life changing benefits. However, these medications also have significant side effects. Non-adherence to medications is generally more common among persons with mental disorders than individuals with physical health conditions and can negatively impact health outcomes and increase costs.

Interdisciplinary teams in integrated care settings have the opportunity to improve medication adherence among patients by incorporating shared decision making into the provider-patient relationship, using motivational interviewing to promote adherence, establishing pharmacies onsite to reduce barriers to accessing medications, and engaging family members in the treatment plan.

Join the SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions for this webinar to review the importance of medication adherence and key recommendations for organizations to promote medication adherence.

After this webinar, participants will:

  • Better understand the impact of medication non-adherence on the individual, family, and community
  • Better understand consumers’ perspectives and concerns related to medication
  • Learn about several key recommendations to improve medication adherence
  • Hear about how one integrated care setting is successful in promoting medication adherence
  • Identify tools and resources to promote medication adherence

Please note the following:
Registration is free and closed captioning is available upon request.

The SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions does not provide certificates of attendance or continuing education credits for webinar attendance.

The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) is hosting a two-day conference on Wednesday, July 18 & Thursday, July 19, that will provide participants with an opportunity to network and learn about the latest developments in the sexual assault movement. The conference will showcase how different parts of the field are tackling sexual violence. There will be a Prevention track; a track hosted by the PA Chapter of Children’s Advocacy Centers. Other topics include self-care and human trafficking.

Please follow this link for details about registration and contact information for PCAR.

Please join our friends at the Pennsylvania Children and Youth Administrators (PCYA), an affiliate of the County Commissioners Association of PA, and the Pennsylvania Council on Children, Youth, and Family Services (PCCYFS) as they recognize the dedicated professionals and service providers who work to protect and provide services that support safety, well-being, and permanency for Pennsylvania’s children.

In light of the focus on the child welfare system in PA, RCPA Children’s Division will continue to provide additional advocacy and support of recommendations and activities that lead to comprehensive child welfare systems reform. RCPA children’s services providers are well-positioned to provide a diverse array of services that address child abuse prevention, intervention, trauma treatment, and when necessary, post-placement services.

For more information about the Providers’ Awareness Week and related activities, please contact Jennifer A. James at PCYA.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a funding opportunity announcement for fiscal year 2018 Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) Expansion Grants. SAMHSA anticipates awarding 25 eligible providers up to $2,000,000 annually to increase access to, and improve the quality of, community behavioral health services through the expansion of CCBHCs. CCBHCs and community behavioral health providers in states that participated in the CCBHC planning year are eligible to apply. These states include: AK, CA, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OK, OR, PA, RI, TX, and VA. Applications are due July 9, 2018. For a program description and details on eligibility click here. Contact RCPA Mental Health Division Director Sarah Eyster with any questions.