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Policy Areas

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RCPA members are invited to join the next Member Update Webinar on Monday, August 9, 2021 at 1:30 pm. Please register here to attend this webinar and get the latest updates on COVID developments and protocol, legislation affecting providers, and other industry-related news. The agenda will be issued prior to the webinar; members are asked to submit any questions or concerns that they would like covered during this webinar to tmiletic@paproviders.org. We look forward to your participation.

Tablet on a desk - Questions and Answers

ODP Announcement 21-056 shares an updated version of Incident Management Frequently Asked Questions. The Incident Management (IM) Bulletin 00-21-02 was available for all stakeholders on March 1, 2021 with an effective date of July 1, 2021. The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) has received multiple questions from stakeholders through email, conversations, and dialogue during trainings, phone calls, etc.

The questions received from stakeholders have been collected and reviewed by ODP staff. The questions were then compiled into the FAQ document. This FAQ does not contain all questions received; ODP chose questions that were asked frequently by multiple stakeholders. ODP expects to continue to receive questions based on the IM Bulletin; therefore, this document will be updated on a routine basis. Stakeholders will be notified when there are additions added to this FAQ.

Please visit the following web page Incident Management/Risk Management and click on the link Incident Management Bulletin 00-21-02, which will include links to the IM Bulletin and attachments, related information, resources, ODP announcements, and ODP IM training.

For questions, please contact your ODP Regional Office or send to Incident Management.

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A message from ODP Deputy Secretary Kristin Ahrens:

On February 3, 2021, pursuant to authority granted through an approved Appendix K, the Department announced temporary enhanced rates for Community Participation Supports and Transportation Trip services for services rendered January 1 through June 30, 2021. The end dates for the temporary rates were programmed in HCSIS consistent with the timeframe announced in the PA Bulletin; therefore, rates effective July 1, 2021 reverted to the previously published rates for these services.

In May 2021, CMS published SMD# 21-003 RE: Implementation of American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Section 9817: Additional Support for Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) during the COVID-19 Emergency. The SMD addresses requirements to receive the increased federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) rate for certain Medicaid expenditures for HCBS, including that federal funds attributable to the increased FMAP must be used to supplement existing state funds expended for Medicaid HCBS in effect as of April 1, 2021.

CMS has advised the Department that it must continue the temporary enhanced rates until the end of the approval of its Appendix K for the Commonwealth to receive the increased FMAP. Accordingly, subject to further CMS guidance, the enhanced rates will continue through the approval of the Appendix Ks. The Appendix Ks for the Consolidated, Person/Family Directed Support (P/FDS), Community Living and Adult Autism Waivers are authorized for 6 months after the federal Public Health Emergency ends.

ODP anticipates that the temporary enhanced rates will be loaded in HCSIS during the week of August 1, 2021. Additional information for handling individual plan authorizations will be transmitted via an ODP communication prior to the rate load in HCSIS.


RCPA, along with the other ID/A Coalition members, requested that CMS require ODP to continue these enhanced rates, so we are pleased to share this news.

Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay

On July 19, 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra announced the renewal of the national Public Health Emergency (PHE) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration of the PHE will remain in effect for 90 days unless renewed again, which HHS has done (five times). The PHE status enables the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to keep in place many waivers of Medicare rules.