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PA Office of Developmental Programs

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) has issued the new Provider Agreement. Effective January 1, 2020, the Provider Agreement must be filled out and submitted by the legal entity of each waiver provider. Only one agreement should be submitted per provider, regardless of the number of service locations or services provided by the agency. Instructions for completing and returning the agreement are included within the document. Questions may be directed to the ODP Provider Enrollment Unit.

The Office of Developmental Programs: Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations (ODP: BSASP), and the Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training Collaborative (ASERT) are trying to learn more about training needs among providers across all systems that support individuals with autism, intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, and their families.

The data collected from this survey will be used by ODP to inform trainings that reflect the needs of provider and professional organizations throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The deadline for survey responses is January 31, 2020. If you have any questions, please submit them here.

The ODP Adult Autism Waiver (AAW) requires Supports Coordinators (SCs) to administer a battery of assessments at intake, annually, and as needs change. Included in that battery of assessments is administering the Scales of Independent Behavior – Revised (SIBr). It has come to the department’s attention that the SIBr software will not be compatible with the most recent versions of Microsoft.

ODP Announcement 19-166 informs that as of January 1, 2020, the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations (BSASP) expects all SCs to administer the SIBr and send the raw scores to BSASP, as currently designed, with these changes:

  • Since the scores will not be calculated, it is expected that SCs and teams use the raw scores and SIBr response booklet to do an item analysis that will aid in planning for the participant’s supports and services.
  • Identifying those items in the assessment in which the participant’s score is low should be a prompt for the team to consider goals and supports that address the potential area of weakness.

The SIBr response booklet should be kept in the participant’s file and may be reviewed for completion during monitoring activities. Please submit questions here.

Training Concept. Button on Modern Computer Keyboard.

ODP Announcement 20-001 provides information regarding the Modified Medication Administration Training course that is now available. The modified course was designed specifically for those who administer medications in Lifesharing locations or service locations not licensed by the Department. This course does not meet the medication administration training requirements of other service locations licensed by the Department.

With the implementation of the Chapter 6100 Regulations, this course is mandatory for Lifesharers who administer medications or those who administer medications in service locations not licensed by the department. This course is not required for the administration of medication by an adult relative of an individual who receives services in an unlicensed setting. The course is required when an adult relative is supporting a family member in an unlicensed life sharing home.

The Modified Medication Administration Course may be accessed on MyODP. Questions may be directed here.

ODP Announcement 19-164 advises providers that implementation of this service will not be available until the public comment period on the rates has concluded and notice of the final Fee Schedule Rates is published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. ODP anticipates this to be in late January 2020 and will notify stakeholders of the publication via listserv. This does not impact the Public Transportation component of the Transportation service. Public Transportation may be utilized beginning January 1, 2020. Questions about this communication should be directed to Laura Cipriani.

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) is pleased to announce (ODP Announcement 19-162) that the amendment to the Adult Autism Waiver (AAW) was approved by CMS on December 10, 2019. As communicated in ODP Announcement 19-136, the AAW amendment was submitted to CMS on October 15, 2019. Since that time, ODP has been engaged in ongoing discussions with CMS. Substantive changes were made as a result of those discussions and are highlighted in orange on the Side-by-Side of the AAW. The full waiver application approved by CMS, and the Side-by-Side of substantive changes, are available on the DHS website.

In Appendix A, Role of Local/Regional Non-State Entities has been changed from Not Applicable to Applicable to include Local/Regional non-state public agencies and Local/Regional non-governmental non-state entities. Language to specify the nature of these agencies has been added. Items A-5, A-6, and A-7 have been revised as well.

In Appendix B, Reserved Capacity was added to serve 15 participants in waiver years (WYs) 4 and 5 who need to be re-enrolled in the Adult Autism Waiver (AAW) after a stay in a hospital or rehabilitative care for more than 30 days.

In Appendix B, the number of unduplicated participants and maximum number of participants served is being updated to reflect current allowable waiver capacity.

Also in Appendix B, Selection of Entrants to the Waiver, Priority 2 status is removed and the Intake Process is revised and Interest List Procedure is revised to change the Interest List to a Wait List. Change in Priority status has been removed.

In Appendix C, a new service, non-medical Transportation, is being added.

Also in Appendix C, validation of provider qualifications for all services is being changed from every 30 months to every 36 months to align with a revised quality management strategy.

In Appendix C, the definitions of Day Habilitation and Residential Habilitation were revised to clarify where new facilities can be located.

In Appendix C, provider qualifications for all employment services are revised and clarification is added as to when employment services can be accessed without a referral to OVR.

In Appendix C, language was updated to reflect that family members can provide Transportation-Trip through an OHCDS.

In Appendix C, the educational qualifications for staff providing Career Planning were revised based on public comment.

Appendix I is revised to include a more detailed description of the rate setting methodology.

Revisions were made based on the new Chapter 6100 regulations, as applicable.

Changes were made to performance measures.

ODP changed all references to Family Living to Life Sharing.

ODP changed all references to Supports Coordination Agencies to Supports Coordination Organizations.

ODP changed the name of Transitional Work Service to Small Group Employment.

ODP changed references to the Bureau of Autism Services (BAS) to the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations (BSASP) or the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), as applicable.

Questions about this communication can be directed to Laura Cipriani.

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ODP Announcement 19-161 provides updates to the schedule of virtual trainings and virtual office hours during January 2020. This alignment of the training schedule for all ODP programs provides courses for supports coordination organizations and agencies, other service providers, and other professionals supporting individuals with autism, intellectual disabilities, and other developmental disabilities.

The schedule includes:

  • Friday, January 3, 2020, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Open Dialogue on Technology for People with Disabilities
  • Tuesday, January 14, 2020, 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm: Navigating the Complexities of Meaningful and Functional Communication
  • Thursday, January 16, 2020, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Lifecourse in Practice (for AAW and ACAP providers)
  • Tuesday, January 21, 2020, 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm: AAW and ACAP Systematic Skill Building
  • Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm: HRST Orientation for Pennsylvania Supports Coordination Agencies
  • Friday, January 24, 2020, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm: Reinforcement Strategies
  • Thursday, January 30, 2020, 10:00 am – 11:30 am: AAW and Reserved Capacity
  • Friday, January 31, 2020, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Incident Management (for BSASP providers)

Please see the ODP Announcement for registration information. Submit any questions about this announcement here.

ODP Announcement 19-159 is to notify providers of an update to the Variance Form (DP 1086) and related Instructions. As part of the October 1, 2019 amendments to the Consolidated, P/FDS, and Community Living waivers, the following language was added and approved regarding the provision of Respite by a nurse for children with medical needs:

Respite “may be provided at the following levels in private homes, including Life Sharing homes (licensed or unlicensed):

  • Level 3 Enhanced – Staff-to-individual ratio of 1:1 with a licensed nurse (only available to children with medical needs as described below) or a certified staff member.
  • Level 4 Enhanced – Staff-to-individual ratio of 2:1 with one licensed nurse (only available to children with medical needs as described below) or one certified staff member and one staff member with at least a high school diploma.

Children (under age 21) who have medical needs that require Respite by a nurse can request a variance when the following criteria are met:

  • The child is authorized to receive less than 24 hours a day of nursing through private insurance or Medical Assistance;

And one of the following:

  • The child requires administration of intravenous fluid or medication, which is specified in a written order by a licensed doctor of the healing arts; or
  • The child uses monitoring, defibrillating, or resuscitating equipment, or a combination of the three; or
  • The child requires other skilled activities that must be provided by a nurse. A list of non-skilled activities that can be performed by professionals other than a nurse is available here.

Any waiver participant age 21 or older who needs nursing services can receive this type of support through the Shift Nursing service.”

Requests for a variance to the day or 15-minute unit limit may be made for participants who have behavioral or medical support needs, or for emergency circumstances, using the standard ODP variance process. A request for a variance to this limit may not be approved for Respite provided by a nurse, unless there is an emergency circumstance involving a child with medical needs who meets the criteria described above.

Ongoing nursing needs for children with medical needs are addressed through Medical Assistance Fee-for-Service or Physical Health Managed Care Organizations.

Please begin using the updated DP 1086 and instructions found at these links on the Department of Human Services website for all variance requests:

The DP 1086 can also be found on the Forms page of MyODP.org or at this link. Comments may be directed to the appropriate ODP Regional Office.