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Intensive Behavioral Health Services Regulations

Today, the 55 Pa. Code Chapter 1155, Intensive Behavioral Health Services and the 55 Pa. Code Chapter 5240, Intensive Behavioral Health Services were unanimously approved by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC).  These regulations are the result of an OMHSAS and stakeholder partnership that included a 75-person statewide work group that began in May of 2016.

During testimony, Acting Deputy Secretary Val Vicari, provided an overview of the process, as well as addressing the need for revisions to the regulatory reform language around staffing qualifications for individual services, ABA, and group services ensuring fidelity to each specific treatment modality. Additionally, areas of supervision were included in the Deputy Secretary’s comments that adjustments to the operational language will need to be consistent across the regulations.

Several attendees provided testimony on the record, including Jim Sharp, RCPA Children’s Division director. While RCPA supports the broad scope of the IBHS regulations, their noted concerns regarding the preservation of Individual Services delivery standards, operationalizing staff supervision activities, and the creation of a program sustaining fiscal rate infrastructure model were all addressed in the OMHSAS position to advance the approval of the regulations.

RCPA congratulates the Department of Human Services (DHS); OHMSAS Acting Deputy Secretary Val Vicari, as well as Children’s Bureau Director Scott Talley and team. We would also like to express our gratitude to the RCPA IBHS work group and Children’s Division Steering Committee for their dedicated efforts during this process and their integral thoughts in preparing for the IRRC IBHS hearing this week.

The RPCA Children’s Steering Committee will continue to monitor the progress of the IBHS regulations as they move to the Office of the Attorney General.

RCPA will send the final regulations out as soon as they are approved by the Office of the Attorney General and published by DHS.

Contact Jim Sharp, RCPA Children’s Division Director, with questions.