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Brain Injury

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The RCPA Brain Injury Committee meeting, scheduled for January 13 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, will have a different focus from the regularly scheduled bi-monthly committee meetings.

Due to the timing of Community HealthChoices and all that has transpired, including the Managed Care Organization (MCO) Meet and Greet session for Brain Injury Providers planned for January 14, and the advancement of the RCP-SO for Community HealthChoices, the meeting will focus on these key important topics that will impact the brain injury providers.

Dr. Richard Edley, RCPA President/CEO, will be in attendance to provide everyone with updates on the one-to-one meetings that have been held with Managed Care Organizations regarding brain injury services, as well as updates regarding the RCO-SO offering. He will also answer any questions you may have on these issues.

Due to the importance of this meeting, members are encouraged to either attend or participate via webcast. If you have not registered yet, please do so as soon as possible.

DHS and PDA Invite Brain Injury Providers to Meet With MCOs Interested in Community HealthChoices

The Departments of Human Services (DHS) and Aging are continuing to develop Community HealthChoices (CHC), Pennsylvania’s plan for managed long-term services and supports. The success of CHC will be determined by a number of factors, including the relationships between future managed care organizations (MCOs) and existing providers. It is extremely important to continue the conversation with MCOs and Pennsylvania’s experienced providers, to successfully transform the fee-for-service system to managed care.

An invitation has been extended to RCPA’s Brain Injury Committee members to participate in an upcoming MCO meet and greet session, exclusively for brain injury providers. As a part of this invitation, we were asked to establish a panel and presentation, as well as participate in a facilitated discussion with the MCOs. Because of the importance of this meeting, please plan on sending at least one representative from your organization to this event. We have also been asked to submit questions we may have for the MCOs prior to the meeting date.

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 14 from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm at the Hilton Harrisburg, 1 North 2nd Street. This will be a working lunch meeting (boxed lunches will be provided to registered attendees). Registration/RSVP is required.

Please respond to Melissa Dehoff if you will be attending. Responses are due no later than Monday, January 11, so the list of attendees can be provided prior to the meeting and the appropriate number of lunches ordered.

Time is running out; the deadline for revalidating is Thursday, March 24, 2016. Numerous RCPA members have already gone through this process, but it appears that large numbers of providers have not yet done so. A special provider revalidation webinar will be held by RCPA on Wednesday, January 6 at 10:00 am. Jamie Buchenauer, from the Department of Human Services, will be presenting the webcast.

Pursuant to Executive Order 1996-1, the State Board of Physical Therapy (PT) has requested member comments and suggestions on two draft rulemakings.

The first draft rulemaking, 16A-6518-Foreign Trained Evaluation, would amend the board’s regulations so that a foreign-trained applicant would be required to submit an evaluation showing that the applicant’s training was equivalent to what is required in a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) — the accrediting body for United States programs — rather than program contents specified in the regulations.

The second draft rulemaking, 16A-6519-Student in Master’s Program Statement of Policy, is for a statement of policy that would make clear that, for purposes of the exception to the licensure requirement for physical therapy students, the term “Board-approved School” includes all physical therapy programs at a school that has a program accredited by CAPTE, as CAPTE accredits only pre-licensure programs.

The State Board of PT welcomes comments on these draft rulemakings. Comments are due by Friday, January 15, 2016, and should be submitted via email. Please specify rulemaking 16A-6518 (foreign-trained applicant evaluation) or 16A-6519 (student in master’s program) as appropriate on your comments.

On December 10, 2015, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LB&FC) released and presented their report, Implementation of the PA Safety in Youth Sports Act, pursuant to HR 2014-1064. This bill called on the House of Representatives to direct the LB&FC to assess compliance with the Safety in Youth Sports Act, determine the best practices for managing concussions and traumatic brain injuries, and make recommendations on provisions of the act that should be strengthened to be more effective.

While changes were not recommended to the current act, there was concern expressed that concussions are still not taken as seriously as they should be. As a result, it was recommended that the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) develop additional guidelines and recommended practices for schools to follow with regard to identifying, assessing, and managing student athletes suspected of having sustained a concussion. The recommendation was made to PDE to consider the guidelines developed by the New York Department of Education (Guidelines for Concussion Management in the School Setting) as a possible model. The report was accepted and approved to be released.

This article from Capitolwire is a good and extensive overview of what is going on with the budget here in Harrisburg. Health and Human service budget line items are still fluid until the House and Senate negotiate a final budget deal. RCPA will provide updates on any budget deal, and RCPA encourages members to continue to contact the governor and state legislators to inform them why it’s necessary for them to pass a state budget sooner rather than later. Questions, contact Jack Phillips.

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Today, the Departments of Human Services and Aging announced the release of the draft of the request for proposal (RFP) to procure Community HealthChoices (CHC) and the program requirements that will be part of the agreement with the managed care organizations (MCOs).

The draft RFP, program requirements, and a summary document are available on the CHC website. Comments on the draft RFP should be sent via email (with “Community HealthChoices” in the subject line) by Friday, December 11, 2015.

Home Care Rule
Linda Drummond, RCPA director, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Division, is working with the PA State Independent Living Council and Temple’s Institute on Disabilities, to determine the impact of the new US Department of Labor’s Home Care Rule on providers. Please share any questions, issues, or recommendations regarding this rule with Linda Drummond, for inclusion with the document being developed for the Department of Human Services, on areas of concern impacting service providers on implementation of this rule. This may be impacting LifeSharing/Shared Living, Participant Directed, and Companionship services.