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PA Office of Developmental Programs

ODP Announcement 19-133 announces the next Certified Investigator (CI) Forum offered by ODP and Temple University. These forums are an opportunity for current Certified Investigators and other interested parties to receive up to date information about the Certified Investigator Program. The next session is scheduled for November 8, 2019.

There will be two sessions available during the day. If desired, participants may register for both sessions. CI program updates will be the same but other content will be dependent on participant inquiries. Participants can submit questions via email prior to the session until Tuesday, November 5. See announcement for registration information.

ODP Announcement 19-135 is to release a guide for Supports Coordinators on the Harry M. Class Members’ Communication Assessments and Reassessments.

The Harry M. Settlement Agreement was approved by a federal court judge on August 20, 2013. The Agreement ensures that Pennsylvanians who are d/Deaf and are enrolled in the Consolidated Waiver are provided with necessary communication supports and services based on their assessed needs. Among other requirements, the Agreement requires:

  • That all class members have initial assessments which evaluate expressive and receptive language skills, identify the preferred method of communication, and make recommendations for staff skills (level of ASL fluency, visual gestural communication training, etc.) needed for effective communication, specialized services, and whether a fully signing environment is needed for effective communication
  • That the assessment recommendations be “documented with specificity” in the class members’ ISPs
  • A reassessment of communication needs as recommended by the previous assessment

Questions about this communication and/or the attached documents should be directed to the ODP Deaf Services Mailbox or to the appropriate ODP Regional Office. This announcement obsoletes Announcement 099-16.

Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) Announcement 19-132 provides information regarding trainings scheduled for October 2019 that will provide high level overviews of the ODP Regulation Package. The trainings will help to explain updates to regulations affecting individuals with intellectual disabilities or autism. The ODP Regulation Package published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on October 5, 2019, represents the most dramatic changes in the past 30 years to our service system. The trainings scheduled for October are structured to help stakeholders understand the major changes and how they impact the system. More trainings are in development on specific topics and requirements contained in the ODP Regulatory Package. ODP will send updates to this announcement as new trainings pertaining to the ODP Regulatory Package are offered.

Along with the communication are flyers advertising the various trainings available (see below). Registration is limited to 500 people, so ODP asks that groups of people call in together when possible. The sessions will be recorded, so that a session for each topic is available on MyODP for those who are unable to take part in the live session.

The webinars are scheduled for Thursday, October 17, 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm; Friday, October 18, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm; and Friday, October 25, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm.

Those attending RCPA’s IDD Division meeting on 10/17/19 are invited to stay after the meeting to participate in the webinar that begins at 3:00 pm.

ODP Announcement 19-126 provides information regarding the Adult Autism Waiver Amendment webinar recording that is now available. This webinar discussed the proposed amendment to the Adult Autism Waiver and obtained public comment on the proposed changes. This webinar was held on September 16, 2019. The webinar was recorded and is now available online along with the PowerPoint presentation. You may find this link on MyODP.org by following this path:

Resources > ODP Information > Waiver Renewals & Amendments > Proposed AAW Amendments

The waiver amendment is also accessible online. An online document containing a side-by-side comparison of the waiver in its previous and amended forms is available.

Questions about this communication should be directed to this email.

ODP Announcement 19-130 serves to announce that the amendments to the ID/A waivers communicated in ODP Announcement 19-102 were approved by CMS on September 24, 2019. These  amendments were submitted to CMS on July 19, 2019. Since that time, ODP has been engaged in ongoing discussions with CMS. One substantive change was made as follows, to allow indirect activities to be rendered on behalf of an individual as part of the Housing Transition and Tenancy Sustaining Service in all ID/A waivers based on those discussions:

Housing Transition services are direct and indirect services provided to participants. Indirect activities that cannot be billed include driving to appointments, completing service notes and progress notes, and exploring resources and developing relationships that are not specific to a participant’s needs as these activities are included in the rate. The following direct and indirect activities are billable under Housing Transition:

  • Conducting a tenant screening and housing assessment that identifies the participant’s preferences and barriers related to successful tenancy. The assessment may include collecting information on potential housing transition barriers, and identification of housing retention barriers… (There was no change to the list of activities covered under Housing Transition. Please see the service definition for the full list of activities).

Each full waiver application approved by CMS is available as follows:

Questions about this communication should be directed to the appropriate Office of Developmental Programs Regional Office.

ODP released Announcement 19-131 to clarify expectations regarding who should attend the Residential ISP staffing face-to-face training sessions that began on October 2, the process to become an ODP designated trainer, and the expectations for ODP designated trainers.

A representative from every provider of waiver funded residential services, SCOs, and AEs should attend one of the scheduled face-to-face sessions listed in ODP Announcement 19-112: Residential Individual Support Plan (ISP) Staffing. The face-to-face sessions expand on the information provided during the July webinars and provide an opportunity to apply the new staffing approach. If a representative from your agency has not yet registered, ODP asks that you do so. There continues to be space available at the remaining training sessions statewide.

It is strongly recommended that the person the agency identifies to attend the face-to-face session have experience in attending team meetings, supervising staff who attend team meetings, and/or reviewing and approving ISPs. In addition, the agency should consider that the person who attends the face-to-face sessions is expected to be an internal resource at their home agency as the new staffing approach is implemented. This may involve:

  • Responding to questions from staff and families;
  • Providing training to staff from your agency;
  • Reviewing material at a staff meeting; and
  • Helping agency staff and families know what to expect and prepare for team meetings.

ODP recognizes this is a significant change and that ongoing training is needed. In order to develop system capacity for additional training in 2020, there will be a train-the-trainers session(s) to become an ODP designated trainer in December. ODP designated trainers must be available to conduct at least two training sessions during 2020 to provider, SCO, and AE staff who are not affiliated with their agency using the material presented/reviewed at the face-to-face sessions.

In order to be considered as an ODP designated trainer candidate, the person must:

  • Attend one of the face-to-face sessions;
  • Have knowledge of person-centered thinking practices and experience in conducting training;
  • Be endorsed by their agency’s CEO/Executive Director; and
  • Complete the “ODP Designated Trainer Nomination Form,” which is available at the face-to-face sessions and on the My ODP website.

In order to be an ODP designated trainer, the person must attend both a face-to-face training and a train-the-trainer session. ODP will notify the candidates who have been selected to become designated trainers.

Upon completion of the train-the-trainer session, a list of ODP designated trainers will be available on My ODP. The ODP designated trainers list shall include the geographic area/region where the person is willing to provide training and instructions for making a training request.

If you have questions, please submit via this email or the appropriate ODP regional office lead:

Central Kathy Zumbrun
Robin Seville
Northeast Kenley Hoats
Joan Accardi
Southeast Mary Citko
Brandi Alexander
Western Nancy Armstrong

Training Concept. Button on Modern Computer Keyboard.

ODP Announcement 19-125 lists the upcoming schedule of virtual targeted trainings (VTT) and virtual office hours (VOH) for October 2019. 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.

This month’s offerings include OVR Referrals for ODP Employment Related Services and Data Collection for AAW/ACAP BSS and SSB. Please review the announcement for registration links and session information.

Today, October 4, 2019 the Chapter 6100 regulations and the accompanying changes to Chapter 2380, 2390, 6400, and 6500 (program requirements for licensed residential and day facilities) were released in the online version of the Pennsylvania Bulletin. They will be published in tomorrow’s edition of the PA Bulletin (October 5, 2019). The revisions made to the four licensing chapters align requirements to provide continuity across all programs, eliminate conflict for providers, and reduce DHS oversight complexity and costs. Areas that are now compatible include individual planning, individual rights, staff training, incident management, medication administration, and restrictive procedures. Chapter 6100 replaces Chapter 51, which previously regulated program and fiscal rules for services provided in facilities and in the home, and Chapter 6200 Room and Board Regulations. See the Chapter 6100 Preamble here.

The Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) approved the regulations in October of 2018, and the package had been in review at the Attorney General’s office and the Legislative Reference Bureau until it was approved for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

ODP Announcement 19-129 provides, and ODP’s Implementation plan outlines in detail, effective dates and trainings. Please submit any questions or requests for technical assistance to this email address.

ODP has issued a corrected version of ODP Announcement 19-127 REVISED with the following message:

“Dear Colleagues,

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) issued ODPANN 19-127, Investigations by an ODP-Certified Investigator Required by Chapter 6100: ODP’s Expectations and Implementation Strategy.

The announcement contained a typographical error suggesting that all allegations of abuse to an individual by another individual must be investigated within 120 days of Chapter 6100’s publication.

The announcement has been corrected to clarify the ODP’s expectations for investigating allegations of abuse to an individual by another individual. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

Please contact the ODP Regulatory Administration Unit with any questions.”

ODP Announcement 19-123 was issued to provide an update to the QA&I process for Cycle 1, Year 3. In July 2018, ODP issued Bulletin 00-18-04, “Interim Technical Guidance for Claim and Service Documentation,” which provided guidance to providers of Consolidated, Community Living, and P/FDS waiver services and Targeted Support Management. The QA&I Cycle 1, Year 3 review process includes a review of the documentation specified in this bulletin. This review of claims and service documentation is intended to verify that services were provided as authorized, in accordance with established policies.

ODP conducts a review of a proportionate random representative sample of paid claims for services in the Consolidated, Community Living, and P/FDS waivers based on the providers and SCOs being monitored in the current year of the QA&I cycle to ensure that the claims are supported by adequate documentation. As part of the year 3 process, ODP has reached out to providers who did not initially submit sufficient information in order to clarify the information required and provide additional time for submission. This was done to:

  • Assure a common understanding of the requirements;
  • Assist in verifying that all the available information was used in the assessment of compliance;
  • Enable ODP to pinpoint issues related to any non-compliance; and
  • Provide information to support future training and the revision planned to ODP Bulletin #00-18-04 when the 55 Pa. Code Chapter 6100 regulations are promulgated.

This has extended the review process. As a result, ODP is revising the expectations outlined in the Quality Assessment and Improvement Process document, dated 6/6/19, related to claims and service documentation only. The Assigned AE will receive a copy of the ODP findings letter and the provider’s response to the Corrective Action Plan (CAP) or Directed Corrective Action Plan (DCAP).

If the Assigned AE receives the above information prior to the onsite visit to the provider, they are expected to review and validate completion of the Plan to Prevent Recurrence (PPR), when the CAP submitted by the provider included a PPR. This review should include progress made in implementation and, if implementation occurred prior to the onsite visit, an examination of records to see if the changes made are having the desired result. This information shall be noted in the Comprehensive Report and added to the CAP form.

In situations where the Assigned AE receives a copy of the ODP findings letter and the provider’s response to the CAP or DCAP after their onsite visit to the provider, the AE shall notify ODP and include the date(s) of the site visit. This information shall be noted in the Comprehensive Report.

Questions regarding this communication should be directed to this email.