Govt. Affairs

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Empty vintage congress hall with seats and microphones.

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus elected its legislative leaders for the 2021-2022 Legislative Session.

The Republican Leadership Team Consists of:

  • Speaker-Designee Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster);
  • Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin);
  • Majority Whip Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest);
  • Majority Appropriations Committee Chairman Stan Saylor (R-York);
  • Majority Policy Committee Chairman Marty Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter);
  • Majority Caucus Chairman Mike Reese (R-Westmoreland/Somerset);
  • Majority Caucus Secretary Martina White (R-Philadelphia); and
  • Majority Caucus Administrator Kurt Masser (R-Northumberland/Columbia/Montour).

When the House reconvenes for the 2021-2022 legislative session, the Republicans will hold at least a 113-90 majority.

The State Senate will be convening today to elect their leadership for the 2021-2022 Legislative Session. In the State Senate, one state senate race is still to be determined.

We’re excited to announce that RCPA’s Direct Care Works initiative is now live. The workforce development pilot project is using social media platforms to engage potential applicants likely to be attracted to careers in health and human services.

We established a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube (Look for LinkedIn soon!). As part of the pilot project, paid advertising will drive individuals to the Direct Care Works website, where they can learn more about the field and access job opportunities.

The initial paid campaign is focused on Allegheny County and some of the surrounding areas, yet we welcome members from throughout the Commonwealth to share information about employment opportunities for the job portal, as we will be sharing information on several social media channels that reach a statewide audience.

To include your organization in the DCW Job Portal, email directcareworks@paproviders.org with the following information:

  • Organization’s name and one line program description (approximately 15 words – see job portal for examples)
  • List of regions where your programs are operated (i.e., Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest)
  • Contact person
  • Website link where potential candidates can view organization information and employment openings

RCPA recently issued a release that details the project. Additionally, a social media toolkit has been developed, for our members to use the collateral materials as a way to enhance recruitment efforts and share the Direct Care Works networks with your own audiences.

For more information, please contact RCPA Children’s Division Director Jim Sharp or email directcareworks@paproviders.org

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are hosting the Livengrin Friends & Fundraising Breakfast virtually this Friday, October 23. Thank you so much for your support for this event and your ongoing support to Livengrin. During these difficult times, our work is even more important with the rise in overdose deaths.

Please register for free through eventbrite so we know how many attendees will be online and share this link to your network. A link will be sent to login within the next few days.

You will not want to miss the incredible presentation from Kevin Sabett, MD on the 7 Myths of Marijuanna and also our award presentation to Livengrin Alumni, Sean Murphy.

REGISTER TODAY

Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced they have expanded the list of telehealth services that Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) will pay for during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). CMS is also providing additional support to state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies as a part of their efforts to expand access to telehealth.

CMS is adding eleven new services to the Medicare telehealth services list since the initial publication of the May 1, 2020 COVID-19 interim final rule (IRF) with comment period. Medicare will begin paying eligible practitioners who furnish these newly added telehealth services effective immediately, and for the duration of the PHE. These new telehealth services include certain neurostimulator analysis and programming services, and cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services.

In an effort to provide greater transparency on telehealth access in Medicaid and CHIP, CMS is releasing, for the first time, a preliminary Medicaid and CHIP data snapshot on telehealth utilization during the PHE. This snapshot shows, among other things, that there have been more than 34.5 million services delivered via telehealth to Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries between March and June of this year, representing an increase of more than 2,600% when compared to the same period from the prior year. The data also shows that adults ages 19-64 received the most services delivered via telehealth, although there was substantial variance across both age groups and states.  Additionally, CMS is releasing a new supplement to its “State Medicaid & CHIP Telehealth Toolkit: Policy Considerations for States Expanding Use of Telehealth, COVID-19 Version,” which provides numerous new examples and insights into lessons learned from states that have implemented telehealth changes. This updated information is intended to assist states strategically think through how they explain and clarify to providers and other stakeholders which policies are temporary or permanent. It also helps states identify services that can be accessed through telehealth, which providers may deliver those services, the ways providers may use in order to deliver services through telehealth, as well as the circumstances under which telehealth can be reimbursed once the PHE expires.

The toolkit includes approaches and tools states can use to communicate with providers on utilizing telehealth for patient care. It updates and consolidates in one place the frequently asked questions and resources for states to consider as they begin planning beyond the temporary flexibilities provided in response to the pandemic.

 

On October 2, 2020 the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Alex Azar, announced the renewal of the determination that a public health emergency (PHE) exists as a result of the continued consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The previous PHE was scheduled to expire on October 23, 2020. This renewal is effective as of that date. A determination remains in effect for 90 days or until the Secretary determines that an emergency no longer exists, whichever occurs first. Many of the waivers issued to providers by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and HHS are eligible to remain in place for the duration of the PHE.