Authors Posts by Jim Sharp

Jim Sharp


Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, the Chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, will be introducing new legislation on the floor of Senate titled “The Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Relief Act of 2023.”

The HCBS Relief Act of 2023 would provide dedicated Medicaid funds to states for two years to stabilize their HCBS service delivery networks, recruit and retain HCBS direct care workers, and meet the long-term service and support needs of people eligible for Medicaid home and community-based services. States would receive a 10-point increase in the federal match (FMAP) for Medicaid for two fiscal years to enhance HCBS. Funds could be used to increase direct care worker pay, provide benefits such as paid family leave or sick leave, and pay for transportation expenses to and from the homes of those being served. The additional funds also can be used to support family caregivers, pay for recruitment and training of additional direct care workers, and pay for technology to facilitate services. The funds can help decrease or eliminate the waiting lists for HCBS in the states.

The HCBS Relief Act of 2023 will be introduced during the fourth week of October with a House companion bill expected to be released in the near future. Please join RCPA in supporting this critical piece of legislation to create a viable and sustainable pathway for HCBS.

If you have any questions, please contact your respective RCPA Policy Director.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released updated guidance on the CCBHC Quality Measurements. The guidance provides revisions regarding monitoring of the demonstration project programs:

Additionally, SAMHSA has released a series of webinars and PowerPoints aimed at providing technical assistance for CCBHC providers, listed below:

If you have any questions or feedback, please contact RCPA Policy Director Jim Sharp.

Community mental health and substance use treatment organizations can address one of the nation’s highest priorities — the youth mental health crisis — by collaborating with schools and school systems to provide school-based integrated health care.

To help organizations better partner with schools, the School-Based Health Alliance (SBHA) and the Center of Excellence for Integrated Health Solutions (CoE-IHS) created “Partnering With Schools to Improve Youth Mental Health: A Resource for Community Mental Health and Substance Use Care Organizations.”

Join us on September 26, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm ET, for Integration with Schools: The Key to the Youth Mental Health Crisis. This webinar will review the key considerations and resources highlighted in the new guide to help integrated care organizations gather what they need to initiate and advance their partnerships with schools and address the youth mental health crisis.

September is FASD (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder) Awareness Month. This is an expansion of FASD Awareness Day that has been held each year on September 9 since 1999. People all around the world gather for events to raise awareness about the dangers of alcohol use during pregnancy and the challenges of individuals and families living with FASD. The first awareness day was celebrated on September 9, 1999; this day was chosen so that on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year, the world will remember that during the nine months of pregnancy, the safest option is to abstain from alcohol.

We hope you will take the time to review this month’s FASD Newsletter and share with your networks. RCPA wishes to highlight FASD Month for its members to bring awareness, education, and advocacy to this critical issue affecting children and families. If you have any questions or want to assist in promoting FASD Month, please contact RCPA Policy Director Jim Sharp.

March to Promote Increased Funding for Mental Health Initiatives

We are just days away from the March on Harrisburg, and we cannot wait to advocate alongside you and our partner stakeholders on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, on the Capitol steps at 10:30 am. The t-shirts will be green, and while we would love to have enough to go around, there is a chance we will not. Everyone is hearing the call, and the number of registrants has grown in the past week! Please consider wearing green if you have it!

Please review the agenda for the day as well as march logistics regarding getting to Harrisburg, parking, and the march route. We have some amazing and inspirational speakers joining us, including Rep. Mike Schlossberg, as we all come together and raise our voices for a united message.

The flyer includes information for registering. Registration is for planning purposes as well as to help us understand how we can better support our CSPs and individuals who may need assistance with transportation. Everyone is encouraged to join us on the day of the event, even if you do not register. We encourage you to register here. You can also follow the Facebook event page for more information.

We look forward to seeing you at the March on Harrisburg on Wednesday, September 27 at 10:30 am. If you have any questions or need to make arrangements to attend, please contact RCPA Policy Director Jim Sharp.