Tags Posts tagged with "DHS"


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As a result of the many Community HealthChoices (CHC) stakeholder events, the Department of Human Services (DHS) has added frequently asked questions (FAQ) documents to the CHC website for providers and participants.

To assist stakeholders in finding answers to questions more quickly, DHS recently consolidated all FAQs into a single CHC Questions and Answers document. This new document is in a searchable pdf format and contains a table of contents that allows the user to easily move to different sections within the document.

For more information, visit the DHS CHC web page.

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Licensing, Certification, and Incident Management Conducted by the Departments of Human Services, Health, Drug and Alcohol Programs, and Aging

The Departments of Human Services, Health, Drug and Alcohol Programs, and Aging regulate a variety of health and human services providers in order to protect the health and safety of Pennsylvanians. Among the regulatory activities, they license or certify providers and conduct incident management, as required by state and federal law. The departments are currently reexamining processes to identify opportunities for coordinating efforts in order to streamline the licensing, certification, and incident management process and increase efficiencies for providers and the commonwealth, while maintaining and enhancing the quality of licensing and certification activities of the providers they regulate. As part of this process, they are seeking input from stakeholders of the Departments of Human Services, Health, Drug and Alcohol Programs, and/or Aging on the following questions. These questions are focused on providers, but feedback is welcome from advocates and other stakeholders. Please send responses via email by Monday, April 30, 2018.

  1. Which of the following commonwealth agencies do you interact with for licensing and certification: the Departments of Human Services, Health, Drug and Alcohol Programs, and/or Aging? Please identify the specific license or certificate types you have.
  2. Which of the following commonwealth agencies do you interact with when you must report an incident that took place at your facility/agency: the Departments of Human Services, Health, Drug and Alcohol Programs, and/or Aging? This could include incidents required to be reported per licensing regulations, or home and community based (waiver) programs.
  3. What works well in interacting with multiple commonwealth agencies on licensing, certification, and incident management activities?
  4. What challenges do you experience in interacting with multiple commonwealth agencies on licensing, certification, and incident management activities? If possible, please identify whether the challenges are caused by statutory or regulatory requirements, policy or operational guidance, or agency processes or technology.
  5. What opportunities do you see for the commonwealth to streamline your experience interacting with multiple commonwealth agencies on licensing, certification, and incident management activities?

This is a major opportunity that can’t be missed. The work being done by the departments is what RCPA and its members have been advocating for over many years. We currently have an administration willing and able to make significant changes. Members are asked to provide as much detail as possible in your responses.

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The Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) has updated the list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) related to Community HealthChoices (CHC). Many of the FAQs have been generated through their Third Thursday CHC webinars, as well as questions received at the Southwest Participant Education meetings. The FAQs are separated by Provider FAQs and Participant FAQs.

RCPA received notice that Ellen DiDomenico, currently Special Assistant for the Department of Human Services (DHS), has been selected as Acting Deputy Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) during Secretary Smith’s upcoming extended (two month) medical leave of absence.

The announcement from Lynn Kovich, MEd, Deputy Secretary of DHS, Office of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS), stated that Ms. DiDomenico was asked to serve in this role because of her key involvement in certain initiatives that bring DDAP and OMHSAS together, such as the 21st Century Cures grant, Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) initiative, the AHRQ Medication Assisted Treatment in rural communities grant, and the Opioid Use Disorder-Centers of Excellence (OUD-COEs). In addition, it is hoped that in this role, she will be able to further bridge the gap between the two agencies. Ellen will continue to play a leadership role in the major initiatives that span both agencies, following her move to DDAP. Effective Monday, January 8, Ms. DiDomenico will officially be part of DDAP staff, but will physically be located at OMHSAS until after DDAP’s relocation downtown later this month.

RCPA looks forward to working with Ellen in her new position and wishes the best to Jennifer Smith during her leave.

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The Department of Health (DOH), in cooperation with the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), and the Department of Human Services (DHS), will be convening six regional meetings with stakeholders across the state to address the issue of providing a warm hand-off for opioid overdose survivors. The purpose of these meetings will be to develop the framework for localized plans, ensuring seamless transfer of care from first responders to the emergency department and then to the local treatment providers.

RCPA has been invited to meet with representatives of DOH, DDAP, and DHS to discuss the association’s perspective as the departments move forward with their planning efforts. A number of RCPA members have successfully established warm handoffs with first responders and/or their local emergency rooms; others have tried and encountered obstacles. Please take a few minutes of your time and email Lynn Cooper with any successes, challenges, or other experiences you are able to share. Thank you, as always, for your assistance and input.

The Department of Human Services has been working in collaboration with Managed Care Organizations (MCOs), county oversight organizations, and RCPA regarding the concerns and challenges with implementing federal Ordering, Referring and Prescribing (ORP) requirements by the January 1, 2018 deadline. The Department of Human Services has informed RCPA of the following:

  • The ORP requirements for Fee-for-Service continue to apply; i.e., allORP practitioners must be enrolled in the Pennsylvania Medical Assistance (MA) Program or the rendering provider will not be paid.
  • In the HealthChoices managed care delivery system, if a rendering network provider submits a claim to an MCO with the National Provider Identifier (NPI) information that results in edits identifying that the non-networkORP is not enrolled in MA, the claim can be paid. However, if the non-MA enrolled ORP has a high volume of claims, the MCO will work with the network provider and non-MA enrolled ORP to have them enroll in MA or work to transition the member to an enrolled MA provider.

Contact your contracting BH-MCO for additional information.

The Wolf Administration has launched the Pennsylvania Link to Community Care website, which connects older Pennsylvanians and individuals with a disability or behavioral health need to services and supports available in their community.

The website provides users with a wide variety of resources, including a home care directory and an information referral tool. It is a collaboration of the departments of Aging (PDA) and Human Services (DHS), and is an extension of PDA’s Aging and Disability Resource call center. By providing assistance online, the initiative further enhances the Commonwealth’s efforts to help Pennsylvanians locate and best utilize services at the local level.

The site features 12 service and support categories: Advocacy, Behavioral Health, Employment, Finance, Health Care, Housing, In-Home Services, Legal, Meals, Protection from Abuse, Support Groups, and Transportation.

Users can find information about organizations, services, and programs within these categories. A major component to the site is the home care directory, which connects individuals to in-home services available in their counties. In-home service providers appearing on the searchable directory may offer personal care, assistance with activities of daily living, companionship services, respite care, and/or habilitation services.

If you are an in-home service provider licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and would like to appear on the home care directory, you may submit your information by navigating to the footer of the site and selecting “Apply.”

In addition to the home care directory, another major feature of the website is the information referral tool. This tool guides users through a series of questions and then provides a list of resources based on their specific needs.

Moving forward, the departments of Aging and Human Services will continue to enhance the website using data and feedback from users, and expand the resources and information provided through the site. This includes working with your organization and other stakeholders to increase the number of options appearing within each category. Read the press release here.

The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) recently announced that the waiver amendments effective as of October 1, 2017 have been posted to the Department of Human Services (DHS) website. The waivers and links to each one include:

Questions related to this communication may be directed to the OLTL Bureau of Policy and Regulatory Management at 717-783-8412.