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Brain Injury

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) has created a brain injury identification wallet card. The card was created as a result of a telephone call from an individual with a brain injury who moved from another state. The individual was inquiring as to whether PA had a card that could be used in emergent situations that would easily identify him as having a brain injury and his symptoms. The wallet card is available on the DOH website. The intent of the card is to provide a document for individuals with a brain injury that could be used to communicate their symptoms and emergency information to emergency personnel or the public.

The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) is offering a webinar on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, at 9:00 am that will focus on the topic of Pennsylvania Resources for Funding Assistive Technology. Assistive technology devices help make it possible for individuals with disabilities to work, live independently in their own homes, go to school, and participate in the community. Mrs. Susan Tachau, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF), will conduct the webinar.

Registration is required to participate in the webinar. Registrants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Questions should be directed to Edward Butler, OLTL, at 717-214-3718.

On March 9, 2018, Representative Tina Pickett introduced House Resolution 741 designating the month of March 2018 as “Brain Injury Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. The resolution was adopted (188–0) on March 14, 2018. A similar co-sponsorship memo was introduced in the Senate by Senator Schwank and will be voted on in the near future. March is nationally recognized as Brain Injury Awareness Month as well.

Due to cancellation of the March 7 Managed Long-Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) Subcommittee meeting, the meeting has been rescheduled for Monday, March 19, from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm in the Honor’s Suite at 333 Market Street Tower in Harrisburg.

Attendance via phone/webinar:
If you wish to participate in the MLTSS Subcommittee meeting on March 19, but can’t attend in person, the option to participate via webinar is being offered. Provided below is the webinar link and dial-in information for the meeting.

Technology:
The Department of Human Services, Office of Long-Term Living is using technology similar to that used at Third Thursday webinars for MLTSS Subcommittee meetings. This technology allows individuals to participate in the webinar and listen in through computer speakers instead of participating by webinar and dial in. Dial in will still be available if you do not participate by webinar only, but the number is no longer toll free.

To participate in the meeting via webinar, please register by clicking on the link below. Members participating via webinar are encouraged to register early. When registering, please verify that you entered your email address correctly. You will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar if you registered correctly.

Webinar Registration Link:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1406232880227054595

Dial-In Number:
The dial in number is: 1-415-655-0052; Access Code: 722-088-701

If you have any questions about registering for the webinar or require a toll free number to dial in, please contact the Office of Long-Term Living. For questions regarding this email, call 717-857-3280.

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) recently posted a number of grant opportunities associated with traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

On February 7, 2018, College and Career Success for Students with Serious Mental Illness or Traumatic Brain Injury was posted. The purpose of this grant opportunity is to generate new knowledge about the effectiveness of interventions to improve college education and employment outcomes of people with serious mental illness or traumatic brain injury. The funding for this grant is $475,000 and the closing date for applications is April 9, 2018.

On February 14, 2018, two additional grant opportunities were posted:

Traumatic Brain Injury State Partnership Program Partner State Funding Opportunity, whose purpose is to create and strengthen a system of services and supports that maximizes the independence, well-being, and health of persons with TBI across the lifespan, their families, and their caregivers. Through the TBI State Partnership Program, the goal is two-fold:

  1. To allow states to strengthen and grow their capacity to support and maintain a system of services and supports that will help maximize the independence, well-being, and health of persons with TBI; and
  2. To learn from and call upon the expertise of states that have built and maintained a strong and sophisticated state TBI infrastructure. This grant opportunity has an award ceiling of $150,000.

The Traumatic Brain Injury State Partnership Program Mentor State Funding Opportunity has a purpose to create and strengthen a system of services and supports that maximizes the independence, well-being, and health of persons with TBI across the lifespan, their families, and their caregivers. Through the TBI State Partnership Program, the goal is two-fold:

  1. To help states strengthen and grow their capacity to support and maintain a system of services and supports that will help maximize the independence, well-being, and health of persons with TBI; and
  2. To learn from and call upon the expertise of states that have built and maintained a strong and sophisticated state TBI infrastructure. For the 2018 funding cycle, ACL is funding two tiers of grantees that will work together to maximize the program’s impact nationally.

Partner State Grants will provide funding to states for building and enhancing basic infrastructure, while Mentor State Grants will provide funding to more established states to maintain and expand their infrastructure and also to mentor Partner States and work together with other Mentor States and ACL to improve the national impact of the TBI program. Applicants must agree to provide the required 2:1 state match, support a state TBI advisory board, provide at least one full-time dedicated staff person, create an annual TBI state plan, create and/or expand their state TBI registry, work with one or more Partner States to increase their capacity to provide access to comprehensive and coordinated services for individuals with TBI and their families, and work with other Mentor States and ACL to improve national coordination and collaboration around TBI services and supports.

ACL encourages organizations that are interested and qualify to apply for both funding opportunity announcements; however, ACL will not make more than one award to a single applicant. Applicants that score in the fundable range on both reviews may choose which award they wish to receive. Applicants that are only interested in receiving a Partner State Grant do not need to apply for this opportunity. This grant opportunity has an estimated award ceiling of $300,000. The closing date for both of these grant opportunities is April 16, 2018.

RCPA will be working with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) to review the grant applications and discuss next steps surrounding these opportunities.

The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) will conduct the next Community HealthChoices (CHC) Third Thursday webinar on Thursday, February 15, 2018, 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm. Providing updates during the webinar will be OLTL’s Acting Deputy Secretary, Kevin Hancock, and representatives from the three managed care organizations (MCOs): Pennsylvania Health and Wellness, AmeriHealth Caritas, and UPMC For You. Tentative agenda topics include CHC updates and launch indicators and transportation.

To register for the webinar, please use this link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you require captioning services, please use this link and use the login information: Username: OLL / Password: OLL.

All CHC related information can be found online here. Comments can be submitted electronically via email. If you have any questions, please contact the OLTL Bureau of Policy and Regulatory Management at 717-857-3280.

The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) implemented Community HealthChoices (CHC) effective January 1, 2018, in the counties identified as the CHC Southwest Region. With the roll-out of CHC, the process for referring individuals for nursing home transition (NHT) has changed for anyone who is enrolled in CHC.

For CHC participants in the following counties, referrals for NHT must be made to the participant’s Managed Care Organization (MCO).  For the purposes of making referrals according to MDS Section Q guidelines, the MCO is to be considered the local contact agency for individuals who are enrolled in CHC. The counties affected as of January 1 are:

  • Allegheny
  • Armstrong
  • Beaver
  • Bedford
  • Blair
  • Butler
  • Cambria
  • Fayette
  • Greene
  • Indiana
  • Lawrence
  • Somerset
  • Washington
  • Westmoreland

Please see contact information for the CHC MCOs below:

For all other questions regarding this notification, please contact the OLTL NHT staff at:

  • Rachel Sink 717-783-7378
  • Brandy Staub 717-783-7219
  • Janel Maple 717-857-3149
  • Mariah Henry 717-772-2542
  • or via email

The Wolf Administration is committed to serving more people in the community while giving them the opportunity to work, spend more time with their families, and experience an overall better quality of life. Community HealthChoices (CHC) is a new initiative that will increase opportunities for older Pennsylvanians and individuals with physical disabilities to remain in their homes. CHC rolled out in the Southwest region on January 1, 2018.

CHC was developed to: (1) enhance access to and improve coordination of medical care and; (2) create a person-driven, long-term support system in which people have choice, control, and access to a full array of quality services that provide independence, health, and quality of life. Long-term services and supports help eligible individuals to perform daily activities in their homes such as bathing, dressing, preparing meals, and administering medications.

Please see this online document that describes how CHC works in coordination with Medicare.

The document is available in alternate format upon request by contacting the Office of Long-Term Living, Bureau of Policy and Regulatory Management, at 717-857-3280. If you have any questions, please visit the HealthChoices web page or submit comments via email.

The Office of Long-Term Living issued guidance to Service Coordinators and Direct Service Providers  regarding the reporting of critical incidents for the Southwest Pennsylvania Counties. Please note the two texts below.

FOR SERVICE COORDINATION ENTITIES
This communication is to service coordinators of Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) participants in the 14 Southwest Community HealthChoices (CHC) counties. Service coordinators are required to submit critical incidents according to OLTL’s critical incident management bulletin; however, OLTL is making a time-limited change in the incident submission process in order to ensure all service coordinators in these 14 Southwest CHC counties receive necessary Enterprise Incident Management (EIM) user IDs for each CHC-MCO.

Do not submit incidents for CHC-MCO participants using your fee-for-service user IDs in EIM. Instead, please work with the CHC-MCOs and submit incidents to them directly until you receive your user IDs that will allow you to submit an incident in EIM which will be directed to the relevant CHC-MCO.

If you have not already received a user ID from UPMC or PA Health and Wellness, please contact them directly to receive more information on how they want you to submit incidents to them in this interim period.

At this time, AmeriHealth Caritas will be utilizing this RA email box for service coordinator submission of critical incidents. If you have questions about this information, please contact OLTL at 717-787-8091.

FOR ALL DIRECT SERVICE PROVIDERS
This communication is to Direct Service Providers of Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) participants in the 14 Southwest Community HealthChoices (CHC) counties. Direct Service Providers are required to submit critical incidents according to OLTL’s critical incident management bulletin. Currently, providers serving participants in the ‘under-60’ waivers submit incidents into the EIM System, and Aging Waiver Direct Service Providers submit critical incidents into an RA-incident email box.

With the implementation of CHC on January 1, 2018, in 14 Southwest counties, all OLTL Direct Service Providers will now submit critical incidents into EIM for participants enrolled in CHC. Aging Waiver providers will no longer submit critical incidents to an RA email box if the participant is enrolled in CHC.

Please work with the CHC-MCOs to receive training to use the EIM system. Please note: Direct Service Providers will need to select the “search for CHC participants” checkbox when creating incidents in EIM for CHC participants.

Direct Service Providers serving participants that are NOT in the current 14 Southwest CHC counties (listed below), and NOT enrolled in CHC, must continue to submit critical incidents into EIM for the ‘under 60’ waivers, and Aging Waiver providers must continue to submit critical incidents to the RA incident email box until further notice.

CHC counties — Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland. If you have questions about this information, please contact OLTL at 717-787-8091.