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Children's Services

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) has announced a new initiative to assist long-term care facilities (which includes skilled nursing facilities, personal care homes, assisted living residences, etc.) respond to COVID-19, recover, and improve resiliency.

This new initiative, the Long-Term Care Resiliency, Infrastructure Supports, and Empowerment (LTC RISE) is funded by a federal grant provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which began on January 1, 2022, replacing the Regional Congregate Care Assistance Teams (RCATs), whose contract expired December 1, 2021.

With LTC RISE, these long-term care facilities may take advantage of improvement project opportunities in the following areas:

  • Implementing infection prevention and control and emergency preparedness best practices to enhance delivery of resident-centered care;
  • Building a sustainable outbreak response operation construct that meets the facility’s needs; and
  • Promoting professional development and a resilient long-term care facility workforce.

LTC RISE will continue to offer the following RCAT prevention and response support to LTC RISE-eligible facilities:

  • A dedicated phone line with 24/7 access, including designated office hours for inquiries, consultations, and follow-up calls from long-term care facilities; and
  • Consultation and technical assistance, assessment and feedback, training, and incident management coaching.

The LTC RISE program is a partnership among DOH, Department of Human Services (DHS), Pennsylvania Emergency Management Association (PEMA), and the following healthcare organizations that have established partnerships covering six regions across Pennsylvania to support preventive and emergent assistance for LTCFs:

  • Penn Medicine, in partnership with Temple Health;
  • The Pennsylvania State University;
  • LECOM Health; and
  • AMI Expeditionary Healthcare.

The Department of Human Services’ Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) and the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) are pleased to announce the Dual Diagnosis Professional Conference Series, which offers presentations focused on supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism (ID/A) and mental health needs.

The selected presenters share their expertise on best and promising practices as well as provide general knowledge. Session topics, which focus on increasing capacity to serve individuals with dual diagnosis in the community, are chosen based on identified needs and with input from the field of professional stakeholders.

All professional stakeholders, including direct and clinical supporters for individuals with ID/A, are encouraged to attend. Registration is required and at no charge to attendees. Four (4) hours of training credit and a certificate of achievement is provided.

Seating is limited and will be offered on a first come, first served basis. You can register at MyODP’s website. For more information, you can view the flyer here.

Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

COVID-19 testing is an essential activity that increases safety for congregate care settings as part of a comprehensive mitigation strategy. Two resources are now available for providers and facilities.

Operation Expanded Testing (OpET) is a federal testing resource that may be useful to your organization. Please see the presentation slides for more detailed information. Providers wishing to use OpET as a resource should coordinate directly with Eurofins.

OpET At A Glance

  • No contract is needed for participation in OpET.
  • No charge. OpET is 100% funded through the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
  • No exclusivity. The organization can end testing at any time for any reason.
  • All supplies are sent to testing location two weeks in advance at no charge.
  • All training is supplied at no charge.
  • No charge for courier services; Eurofins will coordinate specimen pickup and supply delivery.
  • No waiting to get another sample. Auto retesting (reflex) if PCR pooled group is found to be positive.
  • No cost rapid testing. When used in conjunction with PCR pooled testing program, antigen testing is available for program options.
  • 24-hour results turnaround (TAT) for PCR testing.
  • Reporting is fully automated and HIPAA compliant using Concentric by Ginkgo.
  • Testing flexibility — facility can determine their own testing frequency, with specific PCR pooled groups of 5–24 samples at a time.
  • Staff can participate in the OpET program.

If you wish to enroll or have questions related to Operation Expanded Testing, please contact Eurofins via email or call 833-742-0862. Questions related to this communication should be directed virtually here.


In addition, due to the recent surge in COVID-19, the Bureau of Human Services Licensing (BHSL) has been receiving a large number of requests for testing support. If your facility needs testing due to an active outbreak or to prepare for an outbreak, please contact the Dept. of Health via email for questions about LTC testing assistance and/or to get access to testing support and resources. You can also complete and submit the “Universal Testing Needs Assessment Form.” If eligible, someone will contact you for scheduling.

If you are a facility requesting additional Abbott BinaxNOW cards, please email with the amount of tests requested and your shipping information. Note that your facility must have a CLIA certification to perform rapid COVID antigen testing to be eligible for the BinaxNOW cards.

Please contact the Dept. of Health for any additional information on testing.

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Join RCPA on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, from 3:30 pm–5:00 pm for a Town Hall to review the preliminary rate impact findings by the Center for Disability Information (CDI), followed by a discussion on how this data will inform public comment.

This Town Hall is sponsored by RCPA, PAR, MAX, The Alliance of Community Service Providers, and The Arc of PA. This webinar is open to any member of a sponsoring organization.

Register for the Town Hall today.

As a reminder, please submit your Rate Impact Analysis Tool to the Center for Disability Information by COB on January 14. This tool was created to help inform providers of the impact of the revised rates on your organization and to help frame public comment on these rates. You can download the tool here.

RCPA is pleased to offer this webinar on Tuesday, January 25, 2022, at 1:00 pm to discuss moving beyond the Carve-out/Carve-in debate.

In an age of integrated care, specialty behavioral health care matters. For more than two decades, the debate of what to do in Medicaid managed care with physical health care (PH) and behavioral health care (BH) centered on the question: should a state carve-out BH from PH managed care contracts or carve-in BH to PH managed care contracts? This presentation will focus on the most current answers to that question. Please register here if you have not registered yet for this event.

Presenters include:

Panelists will review:

  • Pennsylvania’s Behavioral HealthChoices;
  • Discuss managed care models utilized in other States; and
  • Asses how the debate is changing from carve-out vs. carve-in to a focus on contractual standards and accountability.

Achieving whole-person care and addressing social determinants of health by doing specialty behavioral health care directly through various Medicaid managed care approaches will be considered. While there will be an opportunity to ask questions at the time of the presentation, we encourage you to submit questions in advance to Tina Miletic.

Please register here to attend this webinar. We look forward to your participation!