Children's Services

RCPA Input Session for Medical Necessity Guidelines for BHRS including Applied Behavioral Analysis

In August 2015, OMHSAS convened a small, time-limited clinical work group to assist in the development of new Medical Necessity Guidelines (MNG) for children and adolescents with ASD. The guidelines are specific to Applied Behavioral Analysis within the home and community based services level of care. The work group is seeking stakeholder feedback on preliminary MNG content prior to issuing recommendations to OMHSAS.

OMHSAS will present an update with Dennis Marion via webcast on Monday, November 23, 2015 from 9:30 – 10:30 am. OMHSAS Deputy Secretary Marion will provide RCPA members with updates from OMHSAS;

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) issued this Request for Information (RFI) to seek input for improving Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP). By soliciting the knowledge of stakeholders and industry leaders from Pennsylvania and throughout the United States, the department seeks to broaden its perspectives regarding potential strategies and solutions to enhance efficiencies and management of non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) services for Medical Assistance (MA) consumers.

RCPA would like to congratulate the Department of Human Services Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) for being awarded a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) planning grant, for $886,200. The application process was led by Dr. Dale Adair, OMHSAS medical director.

Pennsylvania was one of 24 states awarded this one-year grant. Authorized under Section 223 of the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014, the planning grants are part of a comprehensive effort to integrate behavioral health with physical health care, utilize evidence-based practices on a more consistent basis, and improve access to high quality care. The planning grants will be used to support states to certify community behavioral health clinics, solicit input from stakeholders, establish prospective payment systems for demonstration reimbursable services, and prepare an application to participate in the demonstration program.

The criteria used to certify community behavioral health clinics emphasize high quality and evidence-based practices. Populations to be served are adults with serious mental illness, children with serious emotional disturbance, and those with long term and serious substance use disorders, as well as others with mental illness and substance use disorders.

The planning grants are the first phase of a two-phase process. When the planning grant phase ends in October 2016, awardees will have an opportunity to apply to participate in a two-year demonstration program that will begin in January 2017. Under the demonstration program, no more than eight states with certified community behavioral health clinics will provide behavioral health services to eligible beneficiaries and be paid using an approved prospective payment system.

Information is available online about the planning grants and demonstration projects; or by contacting RCPA Mental Health Policy Specialist, Sarah Eyster.

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The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) has released an updated schedule for the classroom-based medication administration training. The announcement includes the scheduling of an additional class for medication administration and to advise which other scheduled locations still have availability. Locations where the training has been completed, or the registration closed, have been removed from the listings in ODP Announcement 092-15. The current dates and locations for the medication administration trainings are:

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 Erie, Erie County
Thursday, October 22, 2015 Milesburg, Centre County
Tuesday, October 27, 2015 Gettysburg, Adams County
Tuesday, November 3, 2015 Mercer, Mercer County
Wednesday, November 4, 2015 Warren, Warren County
Thursday, November 5, 2015 Towanda, Bradford County
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 Shamokin Dam, Northumberland County
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 Greencastle, Franklin County
Thursday, November 12, 2015 Ambler, Montgomery County
Tuesday, November 17, 2015 Dubois, Clearfield County
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 Hamlin Wayne County
Tuesday, November 24, 2015 Franklin, Venango County
Tuesday, December 1, 2015 Uniontown, Fayette County
Wednesday, December 2, 2015 Blairsville, Indiana County
Thursday, December 3, 2015 Altoona, Blair County
Monday, December 7, 2015 Harrisburg, Dauphin County
Tuesday, December 8, 2015 Tunkhannock, Wyoming County
Wednesday, December 9, 2015 Trevose, Bucks County

Registration instructions can be found here. The next round of training classes are expected to be scheduled for March 2016. Dates and registration information will be released through a future ODP Announcement.

The Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF) has compiled the responses from the survey conducted on the Child Protective Services Law (CPSL). Many of the questions that were posed in response to the survey are answered through the following handouts, as well as on the state’s CPSL website. Members are strongly encouraged to review the website and handouts.

The OCYF is coordinating with Bureau of Human Services Licensing to host a webinar for providers in November, in order to address questions on CPSL and provide further clarification. Additional details for this webinar will be available in the near future. After your organization has reviewed the materials provided, please send any additional, unanswered questions you may have to Nicole Good at OCYF by Friday, October 9, 2015. These questions can then be addressed during the webinar.

On Friday (September 18), Stan Mrozowski informed RCPA staff and others that he had relinquished his position as Director of the Children’s Bureau at the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS). Dr. Mrozowski noted that “there have been discussions recently in the Department of Human Services about the role of the Bureau and the decision has been made to make a change.” In his farewell message, Stan noted that “I leave with immense satisfaction about the many accomplishments over the past 12 years during which I have been the Director of the Children’s Bureau. I have very few regrets – mostly only that we did not do even more to help children and families in the Commonwealth. I also leave with appreciation for having worked with so many fine people who truly care about youth and families. I will truly miss the friendship and the collegiality that has made the work so rewarding.” RCPA will follow up with OMHSAS leadership to explore and report on any other changes that are planned for their management of children’s behavioral health services in the future.

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The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office for Safe Schools has released a Request for Application for targeted grants to school entities to fund programs that address school violence; and to school entities and local municipalities to fund the training and compensation of school resource officers and school police officers.

Safe School Initiative Competitive Targeted Grant
The allocation is $2.6 million; the maximum individual grant will be $25,000. Submission period is Monday, September 14 to Thursday, October 15, 2015. The Center for Safe Schools offers consultation in comprehensive, district-wide school safety, violence prevention, emergency preparedness, and all-hazards plans, including revisions or updates to such plans and conducting emergency preparedness drills and related activities with local emergency responders. The center also provides training, consultation, and technical assistance in development and implementation of research-based violence prevention programs addressing risk factors to reduce incidents of problem behaviors among students; and training to undertake a district-wide assessment of risk factors that increase the likelihood of problem behaviors among students. Center staff are certified trainers in the following evidence- and research-based programs:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools;
  • I Can Problem Solve (an early elementary SEL program);
  • Lifelines (a suicide awareness, prevention, intervention, and postvention program);
  • Olweus Bullying Prevention Program;
  • Safe Dates (a teen dating violence prevention program); and
  • Supporting Students Exposed to Trauma.

School Resource Officer/School Police Officer Competitive Targeted Grant
The allocation is $3.9 million; maximum individual grant will be $60,000 for a school resource officer and $40,000 for a school police officer. Submission period is Monday, September 14 to Thursday, October 15, 2015. The Center for Safe Schools offers basic and advanced trainings for school security officers, school police officers, and school resource officers. For details on trainings and services eligible for this funding opportunity contact the center or 717-763-1661 ext. 164.