Physical Disabilities & Aging

Time is running out to save on your registrations for IMPACT, the 2019 Annual Conference! Early bird registration ends on Tuesday, September 3. The conference theme is focused on RCPA members impacting legislative, administrative, regulatory, and budget processes.

An interactive registration brochure has been prepared for download to provide essential information on the go. This brochure also indicates how to log into the conference app. The conference website is also available with information about all scheduled activities and details about workshops, exhibitors, and other events. Online registration is available both directly from this link and through the conference website.

  • Remember to make your hotel reservations before the room block expires on September 3.
  • Attendees will find the final agenda, workshops, and handouts through the conference website on or about September 10.
  • The RCPA mobile app is now available to registrants; the password for 2019 is rcpaconf.

Mark your calendars for September 24–27 and join the RCPA Conference Committee, Board of Directors, and staff at the Hershey Lodge. Questions about the conference may be directed to Sarah Eyster, conference coordinator, or Tieanna Lloyd, conference registrar.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has released the Office of Long-Term Living’s (OLTL’s) proposed Community HealthChoices (CHC) waiver renewal for public review and comment in the August 17, 2019 Pennsylvania Bulletin.  DHS proposes to renew the CHC waiver with an effective date of January 1, 2020 in order to be aligned with the calendar year.

Some of the proposed changes to the CHC waiver include:

  • Revise the Residential Habilitation service definition by modifying the number of hours that are defined as a day unit from a minimum of 12 hours to a minimum of 8 hours.
  • To the service definitions of Job Finding, Job Coaching, Employment Skills Development, Career Assessment and Benefits Counseling, add language that Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) services are considered to not be available if OVR has not made an eligibility determination within 120 days; and add language to address when employment services through the CHC waiver can be provided should OVR close the order of selection, thereby creating a waiting list for OVR services.
  • Modify the qualifications for Service Coordinators and Service Coordinator supervisors.
  • Clarify that, if a CHC Managed Care Organization (MCO) identifies that a participant has not been receiving services for 5 or more days, and if the suspension of services was not pre-planned, then the CHC-MCO must communicate with the participant to determine the reason for the service suspension within 24 hours. If the participant’s health status or needs have changed, then the CHC-MCO must conduct a comprehensive needs reassessment of the participant’s needs within 14 days of identifying the issue.
  • Add that an emergency back-up plan must be included in the Person-Centered Service Plan.
  • Remove and modify language to reflect that the CHC waiver will be fully operational Statewide as of January 1, 2020.
  • Update language to reflect that the Department utilizes IDEMIA as the data system to process fingerprint-based Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal record checks.
  • Update the OLTL bureau names and responsibilities.

The proposed CHC waiver renewal and a summary of all revisions are available for review here. Written comments regarding these proposed revisions will be accepted through close of business on September 16, 2019 and should be sent to the Department of Human Services, Office of Long-Term Living, Bureau of Policy Development and Communications Management, Attention: CHC Waiver Renewal, P.O. Box 8025, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8025. Comments may also be submitted to the Department at

Community HealthChoices (CHC) is Pennsylvania’s mandatory managed care program for individuals who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, and individuals 21 years of age or older with physical disabilities who receive long-term services and supports through Medicaid. CHC is currently live in the Southwest and Southeast part of the state. The remainder of the state will transition to CHC on January 1, 2020.

CHC participants have protections if they do not agree with a CHC managed care organization’s (CHC-MCO’s) decision to deny, decrease, or approve a service or item different from what was requested. Participants can also voice dissatisfaction with their CHC-MCO or a provider. These concerns or issues can be voiced through the complaints and grievance process. Information about the complaint and grievance process is available in this fact sheet. Additional information is provided in a comprehensive FAQ Document. For additional questions, please visit the CHC website or submit via email.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) recently announced that they will be holding public electronic visit verification (EVV) webinars to provide additional information and updates related to the DHS EVV implementation. These meetings are scheduled every five weeks leading up to January 1, 2020. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, August 13, 2019 from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm and registration is required. A confirmation email and information about the webinar will be sent following registration.

Future public meeting dates include*

  • Tuesday, September 17, 2019 from 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Tuesday, October 22, 2019 from 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
  • Tuesday, November 26, 2019 from 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm

*Please note: dates are subject to change. Contact the DHS office for more information or call 800-692-7462.

The Self-Determination Housing Project of Pennsylvania is hosting a webinar; “811 Project Rental Assistance Overview” on Monday, August 19, 2019 at 10:00 am. The webinar will cover program eligibility, priority populations, how to become a stakeholder, and what the process looks like once someone is referred to an 811 unit. Please follow the link below to register for the webinar and feel free to share this information with colleagues and those in your network who would be interested in this topic.

Please register in advance for this webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you have any questions, please reach out to the 811 Team.

Beginning January 2020, Community HealthChoices (CHC) will be the mandatory managed care program for Pennsylvanians residing in the Lehigh/Capital, Northeast, and Northwest CHC zones* who are dually eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid (Medical Assistance), enrolled in Medicaid waivers for physical disabilities, and Medicaid-eligible consumers who reside in a nursing facility. As a managed care program, CHC gives individuals the choice of health plans to best match all their health care and long-term care needs.

Members located in this zone are invited to attend a community meeting to learn about the CHC program and have an opportunity to ask questions. If you wish to attend one of these community meetings, a list of dates and locations are available on the event registration page. Most locations have two sessions — a morning session and an afternoon session. Each session will run for approximately two hours. Space is limited; if you are not planning to attend alone, please be sure that each additional person registers as well. You can view the invitation that was sent to CHC participants here.

Need more information about CHC? Please Visit www.Healthchoices.Pa.Gov or call 833-735-4416.

*The Lehigh/Capital Zone includes Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Northampton, Perry, and York counties. The Northeast Zone includes Bradford, Carbon, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Juniata, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mifflin, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne, and Wyoming counties. The Northwest Zone includes Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Forest, Jefferson, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Venango, and Warren counties.

Speaker at Business Conference and Presentation. Audience at the conference hall.

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) and the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) are pleased to announce a statewide conference focused on building capacity to better support the complex needs of individuals in the community. The conference theme is Expanding Capacity: Reaching Further.

The Conference will be held on Wednesday, August 21 and Thursday, August 22, 2019 at the Blair County Convention Center, 1 Convention Center Drive, Altoona, PA 16602.

Keynote and Plenary Speakers include:

  • Gina Calhoun – Program Director, Doors to Wellbeing, National Consumer Technical Assistance Center
     Topic: WRAP: Living a Self-Determined Well Life
  • Julie Gentile, MD, Professor and Chair, Psychiatry – Wright State University
     Topic: Practicing Medicine in the Digital World
  • Angela Moreland, PhD – Assistant Professor, National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, Medical University of South Carolina
     Topic: Trauma-Informed Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: From Research to Practice

Breakout Session Topics include:

  • The Importance of Data Collection Relevant to Behavior Change and Medication;
  • Autism and the Justice System;
  • Communication and Collaboration: Supporting Transition Across the Lifespan; and
  • Creative Strategies for Mental Health Professional in State Hospitals.

For more information, visit:
For registration information, visit:

Online registration is now open and will remain available until Friday, August 9, 2019. The registration fee is $100 and includes lunch, break snacks, and all materials.

This conference is hosted by the Office of Developmental Programs and the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and supported by the Money Follows the Person grant funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Community HealthChoices (CHC) is Pennsylvania’s mandatory managed care program for individuals who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, and individuals 21 years of age or older with physical disabilities who receive long-term services and supports (LTSS) through Medicaid. Under CHC, LTSS and each participant’s person-centered service plan are managed by a service coordinator (SC). Service coordinators work with the CHC managed care organizations as a single point-of-contact to help participants obtain health services and supports.

CHC is currently live in the Southwest and Southeast. CHC will launch in the remainder of the state on January 1, 2020. There is a 30-minute online training on CHC to provide additional information on this program. If you have other questions about CHC, view the comprehensive question and answer document. For additional information about service coordination in CHC, view this fact sheet.

If you have any questions, please visit the HealthChoices website or submit via email.