Mental Health

CCBHCs will transform how behavioral health care is financed and reimbursed. As states and providers embark on this transformation, they face many questions, including:

  • How do we decide which prospective payment methodology to use – and what will its impact on behavioral health providers be?
  • How will we finance the state’s contribution?
  • How do state licensure and CCBHC certification requirements intersect?


Clearly understanding the unique financial opportunities and challenges associated with CCBHCs is a key ingredient to a successful implementation. This webinar will provide attendees with straightforward explanations of hot topics related to CCBHC financing and reimbursement. Our expert presenters will translate the current SAMHSA and CMS guidance to ensure all attendees are familiar with the relevant federal instructions and guidance.


The webinar will focus on the following topics:

  1. Prospective Payment Systems: explanation of the principles of PPS1 and PPS2 and overview of challenges identified in each approach, including a deep dive into the costs that go into your payment rate;
  2. Certification vs Licensure: clarification of the difference between certification and licensure and explanation of federal guidance on this point; and
  3. State Financing Strategies: description of state level financing mechanisms for their share of the Medicaid match, including the use of Certified Public Expenditures.



Date: Monday, March 28, 3:00 pm EDT

Presenters: Steve Kohler, senior manager, McBee Associates, Inc.; Steve Rosenberg, president, Community Oriented Correctional Health Services; Dan Mistak, general counsel, Community Oriented Correctional Health ServicesSusannah Vance Gopalan, partner, Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP.  Register here.

This week the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) announced several new initiatives to reduce the use of psychotropic medication among our state’s most vulnerable children. Speaking at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, DHS Secretary Ted Dallas reported on the partnership of DHS with the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society. A state-commissioned PolicyLab study that found that in 2012 in Pennsylvania, the use of psychotropic medications was nearly three times higher among 6-18 year olds in foster care than among youth in Medicaid overall. Based on this study and the collaborative effort mentioned above, Pennsylvania has initiated the following:

  • Best practice guidelines are being developed for clinicians regarding comprehensive assessments of behavior and treatment interventions;
  • Managed care organizations will be required to give prior authorization for antipsychotic medications for children;
  • A new electronic dashboard will make it easier for DHS to monitor what medications children are taking and improve care coordination;
  • In April, DHS will open a telephonic child psychiatric consultative service to help prescribing physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners appropriately prescribe psychotropic medication for children; and
  • In July, the department will begin training child welfare caseworkers and caregivers on the appropriate use of psychotropic medication.

“The inappropriate use of these powerful medications for children in the foster care system compounds the trauma experienced by children who have been the victim of abuse and neglect and is simply unacceptable,” Dallas said, “The recommendations and analysis from PolicyLab provide Pennsylvania with an invaluable roadmap to improve the safety and quality of life for foster children served by the Medicaid system.”

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced that they are extending the request for application deadline to Thursday, March 3, 2016, at 5:00 pm. Late last week, a glitch in the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) application was discovered. The Department of Human Services (DHS) fixed the issues and application information can now be entered in the correct fields. Due to this potentially causing a delay in completion of the application, DHS is extending the deadline. The application is available here.

Additional changes include that the required letters of support from the County Mental Health/Intellectual Disability Programs, and Single County Authorities, should be submitted directly to the CCBHC resource account. They should not be sent to the agency submitting the application.

DHS also invites you to attend the second CCBHC Steering Committee meeting. This meeting is taking place on Monday, February 29, 2016, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm at the Child Welfare Resource Center (403 East Winding Hill Road, Mechanicsburg). The first portion of the meeting will be devoted to providing an update and the remainder of the time will focus on the following CCBHC workgroups: Stakeholder Engagement, Data Collection and Reporting, Prospective Payment System, and CCBHC Certification.

RCPA business member and cost reporting expert Paul Stanalonis of Stanalonis and Associates, LLC, presented a cost reporting webinar for RCPA members interested in becoming a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). Mr. Stanalonis has a long history of working within the industry on cost reporting, most recently with the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), submitting more than 150 residential and transportation cost reports.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) was recently awarded a planning grant that will assist in the creation of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC). The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant will allow DHS to determine how CCBHCs fit into system redesign efforts, and support efforts to improve the behavioral health of Pennsylvanians by providing community-based mental health and substance use disorder treatment.

CCBHCs will serve adults with serious mental illnesses, children with severe emotional disturbances, and individuals with substance use disorders. The clinics will provide intensive, person-centered, multidisciplinary, evidence-based screen, assessment, diagnostics, treatment, prevention, and wellness services.

DHS invites you to attend one of the four regional CCBHC communication forums. This will be an open forum to gain input from our stakeholders and provide an opportunity to voice questions, comments, and concerns regarding the CCBHC process.

Friday, February 12, 2016
1:00–4:00 pm
OMHSAS Field Office, 100 Lackawanna Avenue, Scranton, PA 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016
1:00–4:00 pm
County Commissioners Association of PA (CCAP), 2789 Old Post Road, Harrisburg, PA 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016
1:00–4:00 pm
Norristown State Hospital, Building 33, 1001 Sterigere Street, Norristown, PA 

Friday, February 26, 2016
9:00 am–12:00 pm
Butler County Staff Development Center, 227 West Cunningham Street, Butler, PA

If you have not already done so, please email your RSVP with the following information: name, agency (if applicable), email address, and which forum you plan on attending.

RCPA has been advocating for years for significant changes to the Mental Health Outpatient regulations to help to protect and strengthen mental health outpatient services in Pennsylvania. In 2010, RCPA developed a position paper outlining the major problems in this area. In response to this crisis, the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) developed a task force to work on regulation changes. The task force was a broad range of stakeholders which included consumers, counties, providers, and behavioral health managed care organizations. The task force worked for several years to develop a new set of regulations intended to protect and strengthen mental health outpatient services. The job of the task force was complete in 2014 and OMHSAS submitted the revised regulations to internal sources for approval. From beginning to now, it has been six years since we requested help. OMHSAS responded with strong support but the regulations have been held up in various areas of the department and the administration.

We received the following email today from Jean Rush, who has been the lead at OMHSAS since the beginning of the project:

“I wanted to share the current status of the OP regulation package since we drafted the revisions. With the expansion of Medicaid, the department has made changes to our State Plan Amendments for compliance with ACA which have been approved by CMS. This will require some minimal changes to the OP regulation package which were not an issue during our work.

OMHSAS will be making the minimal changes to the regulation package in conjunction with the Office of Medical Assistance Programs (OMAP) as the Medicaid Authority for the Commonwealth, as well as our Office of Legal Counsel.

The changes will not impact your recommendations but are necessary for compliance and the ability to complete the IRRC review. We will share the changes with you via email and if there are any areas where input is needed, I will be contacting you to schedule a call to discuss.

We appreciate all of the time and dedication to this project and will continue to work on making the changes to move this regulation package to completion. It is still a priority for the department.”

RCPA is hopeful that a resolution is forthcoming and will keep you all posted.

The Institute for Recovery and Community Integration is working with OMHSAS to create a two day add-on for certified peer specialists on supporting youth/young adults!!

For the needs assessment, three regional focus groups have been or are being held across the Commonwealth. The first was held today in Bellevue, PA. Upcoming meetings are listed below:

  • Wednesday, February 10, 2016 in Scranton from 9:00 – 11:00 am
  • Wednesday, February 17, 2016 in State College from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Youth (ages 16 to 26), family members, service providers, or anyone with an investment in youth are encouraged to come join the conversation. The following question will be discussed:

If you could imagine a world where youth and certified peer specialists are working collaboratively so that young people make a healthy transition from youth service delivery systems to adulthood and independence, what would that world look like?

To RSVP, please see the links below:

The Department of Human Services/Bureau of Adult Protective Services is offering trainings/webinars for Adult Protective Services. 

Complete online registration at the Survey Monkey LINK below.
Please feel free to share this information with other staff and providers.

With new webinar software we have twice as many logins available and will hopefully be able to accommodate all requests.

Adult Protective Services and Mandatory Reporting Requirements

How: Webinar and In-Person Attendance available
Where: Clothes Tree Building, DGS Complex (former Harrisburg State Hospital Campus)
What: Overview of Act 70, Adult Protective Services Law, eligibility criteria, DHS and Liberty Healthcare Responsibilities; the process for reporting,  mandatory reporting requirements, and statutory definitions.


  • Thursday, February 25 at 1:00 pm
  • Tuesday, March 15 at 10:00 am

Complete the online registration survey at

Information and webinar link will be sent prior to the presentation. Contact Deborah Bender at with any questions or concerns.