Policy Areas

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As COVID-19 cases are surging and the holidays are approaching, it is critical that Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) licensed residential facilities remain vigilant about preventing the spread of COVID-19 in their facilities.

As you know, your residents are among the most at-risk population for COVID-19. Visitation and non-medical outings during the upcoming holiday season will increase their risk of exposure to COVID-19.

  • Facilities should ensure that residents and their families and friends are fully aware of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Considerations for Preventing the Spread of COVID-19. It is suggested that facilities communicate openly with residents and their families and friends.  We’ve attached a pledge to assist you in educating and having residents and their families and friends acknowledge an understanding of the seriousness of this matter.
  • The COVID Alert app is a critical tool in our fight against the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Encouraging residents and staff in your facility who have a smartphone to download the app will be useful in mitigating the virus.

If you have any questions or feedback, please contact your RCPA policy director.

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) is happy to announce the publication of the Communication and… series with over 25 different diagnoses included! The goal of this series is to provide information on how each diagnosis could impact communication and offer strategies to support effective communication.

This series can be found here.

Please contact the ODP, Special Populations Unit with any questions.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has planned a special open-door forum to discuss the final rule that was released on November 20, 2020. This final rule clarified the regulations that interpret the federal physician self-referral law (known as the Stark Law). It supports CMS’s “Patients Over Paperwork” initiative by reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens on physicians and other health care providers. It also reinforces the Stark Law’s goal of protecting patients from unnecessary services and the practice of being led to less convenient, lower quality, or more expensive services because of a physician’s financial self-interest. This final rule will be published in the December 2, 2020 Federal Register.

Agenda topics for this special call include:

  • Exceptions that Facilitate the Transition to Value-Based Care Delivery and Payment Arrangements
  • New Guidance and Clarifications Related to Key Terminology of the Stark Law
  • Flexibilities to Enhance Compliance and Reduce Burden

This open-door forum will be held on December 2, 2020 from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Eastern Time. To participate, use the information below:

Dial-In Number: 1-888-455-1397

Participant Passcode ID #: 2037400

A transcript and audio recording of this open-door forum will be posted to the Podcast and Transcripts webpage.