Policy Areas

ODP Updates
The Office of Developmental Programs has released the following information:


  • July 22-24: 2015 Pennsylvania Community on Transition Conference: Navigating the Road to Success, at the Penn Stater Conference Center, State College. The primary purpose of this conference is to expand the capacity of schools, agencies, and communities, in partnership with youth, young adults, and families, in promoting the successful transition of youth/young adults with disabilities to post-school outcomes of employment, post-secondary education and training, community participation, and healthy lifestyles. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about effective practices to assist youth/young adults with disabilities to explore possibilities, take advantage of their opportunities, and actively advocate for their futures.
  • August 3-6: 2015 National Autism Conference: Progress through Partnership, at the Penn Stater Conference Center, State College. The autism conference provides comprehensive, evidence-based information to assist educators, other professionals, and families in developing effective educational programming for all students with autism spectrum disorders.
  • September 15-16: 2015 Aging/Intellectual Disability Cross-Systems Conference: Building Bridges, at the Holiday Inn, Grantville.

RCPA was pleased to have played a role in Pennsylvania’s Collaborative Care Summit. This joint effort was sponsored by the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Department of Health, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Office of Medical Assistance Programs, Pennsylvania Psychiatric Leadership Council, Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society, Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association, PH/BH Learning Community, Community Care Behavioral Health Organization, and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. The information presented focused on the importance of strengthening the link between meeting individuals’ physical and behavioral health care needs, and the collaboration between medical and behavioral health professionals. The presentation materials from the summit are now available to practitioners, providers, health system and health insurance leaders, and policymakers across Pennsylvania.

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has contracted with RTI International and Abt Associates to develop potentially preventable readmission measures, in alignment with the Improving Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (known as the IMPACT Act). As part of its measure development process, CMS asks contractors to convene groups of stakeholders and experts who contribute direction and thoughtful input to the measure contractor during measure development and maintenance. The purpose of this project is to develop, maintain, re-evaluate, and implement outcome and process quality measures that are reflective of quality care for the PAC settings, to support CMS quality and Quality Improvement Organization Program missions that include the Long-Term Care Hospital Quality Reporting Program (QRP), the Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility QRP, the Nursing Home/Skilled Nursing Facility QRP, and the Home Health QRP. The cross-setting readmissions measures will be applicable to all post-acute care settings.

The Technical Expert Panel (TEP) will be selected of approximately 10-15 individuals to provide input, and will be comprised of individuals with the following areas of expertise and perspectives:

  • Cross-setting expertise; post-acute care, skilled nursing facility, inpatient rehabilitation facility, long-term care hospital, home health agency
  • Consumer/patient/family perspective
  • Performance measurement with regard to hospital readmissions
  • Quality improvement
  • Purchaser/insurer perspective
  • Research methodology, including risk adjustment
  • Data collection and implementation perspective
  • Health and health care disparities

The TEP requirements, including time commitment information, can be obtained on the Technical Expert Panel Nomination Form.

Please act quickly if you or someone else from your organization is interested in applying. The deadline to submit the completed TEP nomination form, etc. is June 1.

Futures Planning
The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) Futures Planning initiative continues to move forward with the Extended Team and eight work groups. The May 28 Extended Team meeting focused on the review of the draft of updated values. Volunteers have been selected for the eight work groups. The PowerPoint presentation provides an overview of the current and next steps. All stakeholders may send comments to the Futures Planning Mailbox until June 12. Please share those comments with RCPA’s Linda Drummond, who is a member of the Extended Team, Values, and Meeting Changing Needs Work Groups.

Chapter 6100 Work Group
May 20 was the final meeting until this fall when the proposed rulemaking is released to the Chapter 6100 Regulations Work Group. This meeting focused on licensing regulations under 55 PA Code Chapter 6400, general payment provisions, fee schedule rates, cost-based rates and allowable costs, room and board, and department-established fees.

DHS Impact
Department of Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas is issuing updates, under the title “The Impact,” to keep stakeholders informed regarding the work of the Department and how it impacts the commonwealth. The latest edition, “Competitive Employment for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability,” provides information regarding the joint effort with ODP and Labor and Industry’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.

June 4, 3:00 pm, “Self-Guided Discovery Application Process” hosted by LEAD Center. LEAD Center also has a Customized Employment Initiative for teams interested in implementing Self-Guided Discovery. Employment and career success stories are also being requested that detail creative approaches and strategies to achieving positive employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

Law Enforcement Trainings
ANCOR, Relias Learning, The Arc, and the National Council on Behavioral Health, have partnered to provide free online trainings to the public safety and law enforcement officers that are usually the first responders in a crisis situation involving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental illness. “Understanding and Serving Together” offers ten courses on topics such as Managing Challenging Behaviors, Introduction to Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome, and De-escalating Hostile Clients.

HCSIS Release Timeline and Trainings
The Office of Developmental Programs has released the schedule for the HCSIS trainings and improvements from May to September. Registration may begin at any time using the Learning Management System (LMS).

These will include:

  • TCM/TSM HCSIS Impacts by the decommission of the Targeted Case Management/Targeted Services Management claim submission HCSIS batch process
  • HCSIS Improvements which are upgrades to the HCSIS screens and functions

ODP Updates
The Office of Developmental Programs has released the following information:

  • Informational Packet #041-15: Preparations for Fiscal Year 2015/16 Intellectual Disability ISP Renewal Period
  • Announcement #042-15: ODP’s Quality Management Certification Program: Leadership Resources Available
  • Announcement #043-15: PA Department of Human Services Medication Administration Training Program: New Vendor, Transition Activities and Trainings Scheduled; Beginning June 1, ODP’s Medication Administration Program will be managed by Temple University Harrisburg. Classroom trainings will be held across the state during June.

Vocational Rehabilitation Agenda
The agenda for the Vocational Rehabilitation Subcommittee meeting on June 11 is available.

White House Liaison
President Obama has a new staff member, Maria Town, disability community liaison. Ms. Town’s role will be to address the needs of the nation’s disability community. Ms. Town was an adviser in the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. RCPA Policy Specialist Linda Drummond has contacted Ms. Town for possible re-implementation of the monthly White House disability conference calls; this provided opportunities for advocates and provider organizations from across the country to share information and issues from their respective states.

Police Training Law
Maryland has enacted the Ethan Saylor Alliance for Self-Advocates as Educators Law. This effort within the Department of Disabilities will use persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities to teach police officers about the needs of this population. Mr. Saylor was a 26-year-old individual with Down syndrome who died in 2013 at the hands of law enforcement after being restrained by three off-duty sheriff’s deputies when he refused to leave a movie theater.


Residential Providers Needed
The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) is seeking providers interested in serving individuals currently residing in state-operated ICF/IS who wish to transition to community living.

Interested providers may find information about individuals who wish to move to the community at the ODP Provider Information Center.  Providers should log in with the same username and password used to access any of the ODP Information Centers (such as the PIC, AEIC, SCOIC, or SCC). Because new information and updates are posted regularly, providers are encouraged to check the website frequently.

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Webinar
The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation is hosting a webinar on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act on June 1 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

  • Call-in:
    • PIN: 970198
    • Bridge Number: 17176124733
    • Toll-free: 18557501027
  • Webinar: The link to join the conference can be accessed here. Run the file offered for download. To participate as a viewer through a web browser, use this link.

ODP Updates
ODP has issued the following information:

  • Bulletin #00-15-01: Individual Support Plans (ISP) establishes the requirements for the ISP. Attachments to the bulletin include the ISP Manual with information regarding the standardized processes for preparing, document, implementing, and monitoring the ISPs.
  • Announcement #039-15: Fourth Waiver Amendments Submitted to CMS for ODP Consolidated and Person/Family Directed Support Waivers Effective July 1, 2015
  • Training Announcement #040-15: New Required Training for SCs and AEs: CMS Final Rule for HCBS Waivers: An Overview

Committee Meetings
The agendas for the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Committee and Supports Coordination Organizations Subcommittee on June 11 are posted to the website.