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 RAfirstname.lastname@example.org.