Physical Disabilities & Aging

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) recently posted a number of grant opportunities associated with traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

On February 7, 2018, College and Career Success for Students with Serious Mental Illness or Traumatic Brain Injury was posted. The purpose of this grant opportunity is to generate new knowledge about the effectiveness of interventions to improve college education and employment outcomes of people with serious mental illness or traumatic brain injury. The funding for this grant is $475,000 and the closing date for applications is April 9, 2018.

On February 14, 2018, two additional grant opportunities were posted:

Traumatic Brain Injury State Partnership Program Partner State Funding Opportunity, whose purpose is to create and strengthen a system of services and supports that maximizes the independence, well-being, and health of persons with TBI across the lifespan, their families, and their caregivers. Through the TBI State Partnership Program, the goal is two-fold:

  1. To allow states to strengthen and grow their capacity to support and maintain a system of services and supports that will help maximize the independence, well-being, and health of persons with TBI; and
  2. To learn from and call upon the expertise of states that have built and maintained a strong and sophisticated state TBI infrastructure. This grant opportunity has an award ceiling of $150,000.

The Traumatic Brain Injury State Partnership Program Mentor State Funding Opportunity has a purpose to create and strengthen a system of services and supports that maximizes the independence, well-being, and health of persons with TBI across the lifespan, their families, and their caregivers. Through the TBI State Partnership Program, the goal is two-fold:

  1. To help states strengthen and grow their capacity to support and maintain a system of services and supports that will help maximize the independence, well-being, and health of persons with TBI; and
  2. To learn from and call upon the expertise of states that have built and maintained a strong and sophisticated state TBI infrastructure. For the 2018 funding cycle, ACL is funding two tiers of grantees that will work together to maximize the program’s impact nationally.

Partner State Grants will provide funding to states for building and enhancing basic infrastructure, while Mentor State Grants will provide funding to more established states to maintain and expand their infrastructure and also to mentor Partner States and work together with other Mentor States and ACL to improve the national impact of the TBI program. Applicants must agree to provide the required 2:1 state match, support a state TBI advisory board, provide at least one full-time dedicated staff person, create an annual TBI state plan, create and/or expand their state TBI registry, work with one or more Partner States to increase their capacity to provide access to comprehensive and coordinated services for individuals with TBI and their families, and work with other Mentor States and ACL to improve national coordination and collaboration around TBI services and supports.

ACL encourages organizations that are interested and qualify to apply for both funding opportunity announcements; however, ACL will not make more than one award to a single applicant. Applicants that score in the fundable range on both reviews may choose which award they wish to receive. Applicants that are only interested in receiving a Partner State Grant do not need to apply for this opportunity. This grant opportunity has an estimated award ceiling of $300,000. The closing date for both of these grant opportunities is April 16, 2018.

RCPA will be working with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) to review the grant applications and discuss next steps surrounding these opportunities.

Please find a press release below from Senator Casey regarding HR 620:

For Immediate Release
February 14, 2018

Contact:
Jacklin Rhoads
202-228-6367 (o)
202-384-8989 (m)

Casey Statement On House of Reps. Decision to Continue Consideration of Disability Civil Rights Gutting Legislation

Washington, D.C. – On the eve of a planned vote by the House of Representatives on HR 620, the mis-named ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017, U.S. Senator Bob Casey released the following statement:

“The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990 as the last of the major civil rights laws. The ADA changed the landscape of the country by ensuring that all parts of communities were accessible to Americans with disabilities. Prior to the passage of the ADA, people with disabilities were often denied access to grocery stores, movie theaters, ball parks, trains and buses. With the passage of the ADA, people with disabilities were assured the rights to access all businesses and services offered to the general public without discrimination.

Now, the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a misguided, mean-spirited bill that will significantly limit the rights of people with disabilities by removing the teeth of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

HR 620 will make it more difficult for people with disabilities to gain entrance to local stores, attend a play, or use a web site. This bill removes the need for a business or any organization that offers its services to the public to make those services accessible until a complaint is filed. The bill makes it more difficult to file a complaint and would make a person with a disability wait up to 180 days or more to gain access to services. That’s a long time to wait for a meal in a restaurant, to fill a prescription or to get a haircut.

I urge my House colleagues to vote no on this bill and recognize that Congress should be protecting the civil rights of people with disabilities, not weakening and discarding those rights.

HR 620 would make the over 50 million Americans with disabilities second class citizens. The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed nearly 28 years ago, assuring the rights of people with disabilities to be treated as equals under the law. I will continue to fight to protect those rights and oppose any legislation that threatens those rights.”

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Emergency Briefing THIS AFTERNOON Regarding HR 620
1-866-439-4480
59741638#

Congress is on the verge of weakening the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Tomorrow morning, lawmakers are expected to vote on HR 620 – the ADA Education and Reform Act – which removes incentives for businesses to comply with the ADA. This weakens the ADA and people with disabilities’ civil rights because it puts the weight of enforcing the ADA on their shoulders.

Today is our opportunity to stop it. We need you, and like-minded constituents, to tell Congress to vote AGAINST this cruel and unfair bill. Join today at 3:00 pm (ET) to protect the ADA by dialing 1-866-439-4480, 59741638#.

Even if you can’t call in, please take these steps immediately:

  • WHAT: Call your Member of Congress and tell them this bill weakens the rights of people you support.
  • WHEN: Today. Don’t Wait.
  • HOW: Call the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 TTY and tell the operators your state and zip code. They will connect you to your representative.

SUGGESTED SCRIPT
“Hello, I am a constituent who cares deeply about people with disabilities. I am calling to ask the US Representative to oppose HR 620 – the ADA Education and Reform Act – because it removes incentives for businesses to comply with the ADA. This weakens the ADA and people with disabilities’ civil rights because it puts the weight of enforcing the ADA on their shoulders. Thank you for your hard work answering the phones.”

Join us today at 3:00 pm (ET) to hear the latest on this problematic legislation, including which legislators could make the difference.

This week the House of Representatives may consider HR 620, a House bill that will weaken Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act by removing any incentive for businesses, organizations, and anyone who provides services to the general public to make their services accessible.

HR 620 facts:

  • Removes any incentive for voluntary compliance;
  • Rewards non-compliance by allowing businesses generous additional timelines, even though the ADA’s very reasonable requirements are already over 25 years old! The ADA is already carefully crafted to take the needs of businesses into account;
  • Pretends that money damages requested from businesses are part of the ADA. Actually, this part of the ADA doesn’t even allow money damages, so changing the federal ADA will not affect any state law money damage provisions;
  • Ignores the extensive, free educational resources already available today to any business on how to comply with the ADA;
  • Ignores the effective & extensive methods already available to courts and state bar associations to deal with a very few frivolous lawsuits or unscrupulous attorneys. We should use those existing legal mechanisms when needed, rather than deny the civil rights established by the ADA that aid people with disabilities every day; and
  • Look behind the media myths: The vast majority of ADA attorneys and plaintiffs are seeking solutions to fix real denials of access. But the business community has pushed the media to portray “a few bad apples” as a landslide.

The House tentative schedule for the bill is as follows:

Tuesday –The House Rules Committee will meet today (February 13), likely in the later afternoon or evening, to determine the process for consideration of HR 620 on the House floor as well as amendments. Some amendments may try to “improve” the bill; this is not possible. The only way to “improve” a bill that eliminates civil rights is to remove all of its components. Improving a bill that will weaken or gut a set of civil rights really isn’t possible, so amendments are not a strategy. The Rules Committee will ultimately vote on how they will recommend consideration of HR 620 on the House floor, including the amount of time for debate and how or if amendments will be considered.
Wednesday — House leadership on both sides will be counting votes. The rules for considering HR 620 will be on the House floor. Leadership will likely speak to the rules that the Rules Committee has recommended. This will be a time for opposition to highlight the damage this bill will cause if passed.

Thursday — as of Monday morning, HR 620 was the only bill scheduled for a vote on Thursday; the vote will likely be an early afternoon vote. Reps. Hoyer, Scott, and Langevin will likely speak against the bill on the floor before the vote.

If the bill passes, then movement will shift to the Senate where there is not yet a companion bill introduced. We are speaking with many offices to determine what, if any, action will take place in the Senate, and will keep you informed as to that action.

Some additional talking points are as follows:

  • HR 620 removes the civil rights of all citizens with disabilities; it causes people with disabilities to wait for their right to access any service that all citizens have access to immediately. HR 620 asks people with disabilities to wait months — and in some cases years — to be able to enter a restaurant, hotel, store, theater, or to shop online. This would never be asked of any other group;
  • If businesses are concerned about bad actor lawyers, then stop the bad behavior of those lawyers — don’t eliminate the rights of over 50 million Americans because there are a handful of despicable attorneys;
  • If the civil rights of 50 million Americans can be eliminated, then the civil rights of other groups can be as well;
  • Vote “NO” on HR 620.

The bottom line is that HR 620 is being considered this week, has enormous support from over 100 Representatives, and will be voted on this week. Please contact your Congressman and ask them to vote NO. All members of the House of Representatives need to hear that there is great opposition to the bill and that it will permanently harm the civil rights of people with disabilities.

The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) will conduct the next Community HealthChoices (CHC) Third Thursday webinar on Thursday, February 15, 2018, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm. Providing updates during the webinar will be OLTL’s Acting Deputy Secretary, Kevin Hancock, and representatives from the three managed care organizations (MCOs): Pennsylvania Health and Wellness, AmeriHealth Caritas, and UPMC For You. Tentative agenda topics include CHC updates and launch indicators and transportation.

To register for the webinar, please use this link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you require captioning services, please use this link and use the login information: Username: OLL / Password: OLL.

All CHC related information can be found online here. Comments can be submitted electronically via email. If you have any questions, please contact the OLTL Bureau of Policy and Regulatory Management at 717-857-3280.

Senior Woman Being Served Meal By Carer

The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) implemented Community HealthChoices (CHC) effective January 1, 2018, in the counties identified as the CHC Southwest Region. With the roll-out of CHC, the process for referring individuals for nursing home transition (NHT) has changed for anyone who is enrolled in CHC.

For CHC participants in the following counties, referrals for NHT must be made to the participant’s Managed Care Organization (MCO).  For the purposes of making referrals according to MDS Section Q guidelines, the MCO is to be considered the local contact agency for individuals who are enrolled in CHC. The counties affected as of January 1 are:

  • Allegheny
  • Armstrong
  • Beaver
  • Bedford
  • Blair
  • Butler
  • Cambria
  • Fayette
  • Greene
  • Indiana
  • Lawrence
  • Somerset
  • Washington
  • Westmoreland

Please see contact information for the CHC MCOs below:

For all other questions regarding this notification, please contact the OLTL NHT staff at:

  • Rachel Sink 717-783-7378
  • Brandy Staub 717-783-7219
  • Janel Maple 717-857-3149
  • Mariah Henry 717-772-2542
  • or via email

The Wolf Administration is committed to serving more people in the community while giving them the opportunity to work, spend more time with their families, and experience an overall better quality of life. Community HealthChoices (CHC) is a new initiative that will increase opportunities for older Pennsylvanians and individuals with physical disabilities to remain in their homes. CHC rolled out in the Southwest region on January 1, 2018.

CHC was developed to: (1) enhance access to and improve coordination of medical care and; (2) create a person-driven, long-term support system in which people have choice, control, and access to a full array of quality services that provide independence, health, and quality of life. Long-term services and supports help eligible individuals to perform daily activities in their homes such as bathing, dressing, preparing meals, and administering medications.

Please see this online document that describes how CHC works in coordination with Medicare.

The document is available in alternate format upon request by contacting the Office of Long-Term Living, Bureau of Policy and Regulatory Management, at 717-857-3280. If you have any questions, please visit the HealthChoices web page or submit comments via email.

The 2018 RCPA conference will take place October 2–4 (please note new dates) at the Hershey Lodge. A premier statewide event, the Conference Committee is seeking workshop proposals for possible inclusion. This event offers diverse educational opportunities and submissions are needed in every area; a complete listing of focus tracks is available on the online proposal form. Presentations are encouraged that assist providers to develop and maintain quality, stable, and effective treatments, services, and agencies in an industry where change is constant. The committee looks for presentations which:

  • Highlight new policy, research, and treatment initiatives such as the CCBHC model and Centers of Excellence, to name a few;
  • Provide specific skills and information related to individual and organizational leadership development and enhancement;
  • Address system changes that affect business practices such as Community HealthChoices and integrated and co-located care; and
  • Offer concrete skills and tools to operate more efficient and effective agencies, allowing organizations to strive, survive, and thrive.

Workshop ideas beginning to percolate for 2018 include pharmacogenomics; technology as a human resource option; executive leadership; integrated care strategies for implementation and reimbursement; XYZ rate setting; social capital; ethics; sexuality and sexual abuse issues in the intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) service area; trauma informed care across service types; emergency planning for community violence; acquisitions/mergers and consolidations; value-based purchasing; abuse and protection in the aging population; emerging leaders. The committee welcomes any proposal that addresses these and other topics essential to the rehabilitation, brain injury, mental health, addiction, aging, children’s, and developmental disability communities. Members are encouraged to consider submitting proposals and to forward this opportunity to those who are exceptionally good speakers and have state-of-the-art information to share.

The Call for Proposals and accompanying guidelines outline requirements for submissions. The deadline for submissions is Friday, March 16 at 5:00 pm. Confirmation of receipt will be sent. Proposals submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Proposals selected stand out by inclusion of solid learning objectives, information that a participant can use to enhance professional skills or methods, and being geared to a diverse and advanced audience. If the proposal is accepted, individuals must be prepared to present on any day of the conference. Workshops are 90 or 180 minutes in length. At the time of acceptance, presenters will be required to confirm the ability to submit workshop handouts electronically four weeks prior to the conference. Anyone unable to meet this expectation should not submit proposals for consideration.

Individuals are welcome to submit multiple proposals. Notification of inclusion will be made by May 15. Questions may be directed to Sarah Eyster, Conference Coordinator.

The Office of Long-Term Living issued guidance to Service Coordinators and Direct Service Providers  regarding the reporting of critical incidents for the Southwest Pennsylvania Counties. Please note the two texts below.

FOR SERVICE COORDINATION ENTITIES
This communication is to service coordinators of Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) participants in the 14 Southwest Community HealthChoices (CHC) counties. Service coordinators are required to submit critical incidents according to OLTL’s critical incident management bulletin; however, OLTL is making a time-limited change in the incident submission process in order to ensure all service coordinators in these 14 Southwest CHC counties receive necessary Enterprise Incident Management (EIM) user IDs for each CHC-MCO.

Do not submit incidents for CHC-MCO participants using your fee-for-service user IDs in EIM. Instead, please work with the CHC-MCOs and submit incidents to them directly until you receive your user IDs that will allow you to submit an incident in EIM which will be directed to the relevant CHC-MCO.

If you have not already received a user ID from UPMC or PA Health and Wellness, please contact them directly to receive more information on how they want you to submit incidents to them in this interim period.

At this time, AmeriHealth Caritas will be utilizing this RA email box for service coordinator submission of critical incidents. If you have questions about this information, please contact OLTL at 717-787-8091.

FOR ALL DIRECT SERVICE PROVIDERS
This communication is to Direct Service Providers of Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) participants in the 14 Southwest Community HealthChoices (CHC) counties. Direct Service Providers are required to submit critical incidents according to OLTL’s critical incident management bulletin. Currently, providers serving participants in the ‘under-60’ waivers submit incidents into the EIM System, and Aging Waiver Direct Service Providers submit critical incidents into an RA-incident email box.

With the implementation of CHC on January 1, 2018, in 14 Southwest counties, all OLTL Direct Service Providers will now submit critical incidents into EIM for participants enrolled in CHC. Aging Waiver providers will no longer submit critical incidents to an RA email box if the participant is enrolled in CHC.

Please work with the CHC-MCOs to receive training to use the EIM system. Please note: Direct Service Providers will need to select the “search for CHC participants” checkbox when creating incidents in EIM for CHC participants.

Direct Service Providers serving participants that are NOT in the current 14 Southwest CHC counties (listed below), and NOT enrolled in CHC, must continue to submit critical incidents into EIM for the ‘under 60’ waivers, and Aging Waiver providers must continue to submit critical incidents to the RA incident email box until further notice.

CHC counties — Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland. If you have questions about this information, please contact OLTL at 717-787-8091.