As the State of Pennsylvania transitions through the various stages associated with COVID-19 (Red to yellow and yellow to green), the state will also begin to make a transition from full telehealth services to starting to phase in some face-to-face services. RCPA recently participated in a conference call with staff from the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) to provide our feedback on how to begin this transition, things to consider as we transition, etc. One concept we discussed is using a person-centered approach, as individuals differ in their readiness to resume face-to-face or group activities and in their ability to benefit from either treatment modality. They are specifically interested in your input on how this process has gone, what worked, what didn’t work, etc. In order to obtain your feedback, we created a Survey Monkey for you to complete. Your input will help shape how telehealth will look now and in the future. We need to have this feedback provided to OLTL by early next week as they want to use this to help draft their guidance to providers. Surveys should be completed by close of business on Monday, June 1, 2020.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 28, 2020
Harrisburg, PA – Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar announced today that the Department of State will provide accessible write-in ballots to voters with disabilities who request one.
“These ballots will allow blind and low-vision voters to vote privately and independently in Tuesday’s primary,” Secretary Boockvar said. “We are committed to increasing accessibility for voters with disabilities and implementing a long-term solution for accessible ballots for the November election and beyond.”
U.S. District Court Judge Jennifer P. Wilson issued an order on Wednesday mandating that the department offer an accessible write-in primary ballot for voters with disabilities who request one.
To obtain an accessible write-in ballot, an individual must:
The department will electronically transmit via email to the requesting voter: (1) an accessible write-in ballot; (2) an accessible declaration form; (3) accessible instructions; (4) an accessible candidate list for the voter’s election district; and (5) a write-in envelope.
Using their screen reader software, voters with disabilities can then vote in the privacy of their own homes, print their voted ballot and return it to their county elections office. Their county must receive their voted ballot by 8 p.m. on June 2. A postmark is not sufficient.
MEDIA CONTACT: Wanda Murren, 717-783-1621
National Council is gathering the information via a secure portal, which will be sent to HHS. It is hoped that HHS will use this information in the way that they provided funding directly to skilled nursing facilities via their bank accounts (instead of allocating funds to the state Medicaid agency, for example).
National Council believes this information will be very important in the dissemination of HHS funds to Medicaid providers. National Council is hopeful this action will encourage them to make payments directly to providers, again, as they have with the $4.9bn to skilled nursing facilities.
It is, of course, up to provider comfort whether or not they participate. National Council hopes to collect this information via the portal by tomorrow, May 29.
We realize some of you thought our email yesterday was a scam or a phishing attempt. Rest assured, it was not a scam. But we apologize if we caused confusion in our attempt to convey important information about our time-sensitive effort to unlock money from the Department of Health and Human Services Provider Relief Fund.
As we search for ways to help you withstand the brutal economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are using every tactic we can think of to obtain federal funds for you. Our current effort to tap into the HHS Provider Relief Fund requires a coordinated effort, but this strategy will not put your organization at risk.
HHS has to make payments directly to providers and to facilitate this we are coordinating a broad effort to request money from the Relief Fund, following the approach used by a coalition of nursing homes, which is now receiving $4.9 billion from the Fund.
To clarify, we have established a secure portal to accommodate the effort to gather information. ALL INFORMATION SUBMITTED TO THE SECURE PORTAL will be kept confidential.
Why are we doing this now? Because the federal government is currently determining how to target Medicaid providers to receive a portion of the remaining unallocated COVID-19 Provider Relief Funds. In other words, the money is available. And we want to do everything we can to position you to receive this funding.
There is no obligation to participate, but if you choose to participate, we respectfully request that you upload the following information to this secure data collection portal: https://learningcommunities.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/1140/home
The National Council will submit the information collected on the secure, external site DIRECTLY TO HHS. THE DATA WILL NOT BE RETAINED.
If you wish to participate, please complete and submit the form no later than Friday, May 29, 2020. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and please note that this request is separate from current HHS efforts to collect additional information from prior CARES funding recipients. Submitting your information is not a guarantee that you will receive HHS funding.
I hope that helps clarify our intent, and please accept my apologies for any confusion we caused. Perhaps in our haste to unlock this vital funding we failed to provide the fullest picture possible or anticipate your concerns.
Please remember we always have your best interests at heart.
President and CEO
National Council for Behavioral Health
Today, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs announced the following webinars. Please click on the links for further information.
DDAP WEBINAR OPPORTUNITIES
Ethics Webinar (See flyer)
This course will address ethical considerations in SUD treatment. This training will review many topics,
including defining what ethics are and are not, ethical principles, and a decision-making model.
The 6-hour training has been broken out into three 2-hour sessions. Participants must attend all
three sessions in order to receive credit.
June 2, 10 AM – 12 PM
June 3, 10 AM – 12 PM
June 4, 10 AM – 12 PM
Screening and Assessment Webinar (See flyer)
This training provides participants with the knowledge needed to provide these services to individuals in Pennsylvania who are possibly in need of SUD services. The training will include an overview of the skills necessary in conducting screenings and assessments, as well as tools required by DDAP. This training focuses on the Level of Care assessment, as opposed to the clinical assessment. The 6-hour training has been broken out into three 2-hour sessions. Participants must attend all three sessions in order to receive credit.
June 8, 10 AM – 12 PM
June 9, 10 AM – 12 PM
OTHER AVAILABLE WEBINAR OPPORTUNITIES
Digital Recovery Support Services: Planning Now and For the Future – June 8 at 2 PM
Unity Recovery’s will feature peer staff and peer supervisors from across the country that have been providing digital recovery support services over the last 12 weeks. Join this free webinar to discuss lessons learned and identify best practices from everything to service delivery, remote working, and supervision.
World No Tobacco Day Webinar – June 2 at 8 AM
CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health will host a World No Tobacco Day webinar featuring a panel of distinguished tobacco control experts who will discuss what decision makers, parents, families, educators, and health care providers can do to help prevent and reduce tobacco product use, including e-cigarettes, among young people.