Drug & Alcohol

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced the selection of 16 locations to participate in the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) planning grant. The federal grant encourages states to adopt innovative approaches to community-based behavioral health services.

This initiative will further the Wolf Administration’s goal of improving the delivery of care for behavioral health and substance use treatment in the community where people live, providing Pennsylvanians with easier and more consistent access to the services they need. In an effort to provide CCBHC access to all affected Pennsylvanians, the 16 locations are comprised of both rural and urban locations throughout the state.

The federal Excellence in Mental Health Act established the CCBHCs as a way to improve quality and use evidenced-based practices in behavioral health.

The CCBHCs will provide nine core services:

  • Crisis services;
  • Targeted case management;
  • Outpatient mental health and substance abuse services;
  • Patient-centered treatment planning;
  • Screening, assessment, and diagnosis;
  • Psychiatric rehabilitation services;
  • Peer and family support;
  • Care for veterans and members of the military; and
  • Outpatient primary care screening and monitoring.

The following clinics were selected:

  • Berks Counseling Center, Berks
  • Cen Clear Child Services, Clearfield
  • Cen Clear Child Services, Jefferson
  • Cen Clear Child Services, Blair
  • Community Council Mental Health and Mental Retardation, Philadelphia
  • Community Counseling Center of Mercer County, Mercer
  • Community Guidance Center, Clearfield
  • Creative Health Services, Montgomery
  • Kidspeace, Monroe
  • NHS Delaware County, Delaware
  • Northeast Treatment Centers, Philadelphia
  • Pittsburgh Mercy, Allegheny
  • Public Health Management Corporation, Philadelphia
  • Resources for Human Development, Philadelphia
  • Safe Harbor, Erie
  • The Guidance Center, McKean

As part of being selected as a CCBHC, the CCBHC Assessment and Readiness Review webinar is taking place on Friday, April 8 at 9:00 am. You are welcome to join DHS in person in the Clothestree Conference Room. To join via webinar, please register using this link. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email with your connection link. Please note, this link will be unique to you and should not be shared with others.

RCPA, through the National Council, will be offering support to all selected CCBHCs. In addition, all selected CCBHCs are welcome to attend a monthly nationwide call with National Council and state leaders. More information will be available later this week.

RCPA congratulates all selected CCBHC providers. Please contact Sarah Eyster for more information.

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Audits Every Two Years for Best Facilities/Notice of Changes
The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) proposes to amend §709.11 and §709.14 (relating to the General Standards for Freestanding Treatment Facilities). The proposed amended language to §709.11 (application for license) seeks to enlarge the amount of time between inspections from one year to up to two years for the free standing drug and alcohol facilities that, for the prior two years, have not had any citations in four critical areas. Specifically, facilities that have been cited in the last two years for conduct or omissions that: 1) jeopardized the safety of any persons, 2) compromised the quality of treatment provided, 3) violated a client’s confidentiality rights or resulted in treatment being provided without informed consent, are not eligible to have the annual inspection time extended. In addition, facilities that have failed to take reasonable and timely remedial measures as requested by the department are not eligible for this extension.

Increasing the time between inspections serves as an incentive and rewards the best of the facilities by reducing the administrative burden associated with an annual inspection. In addition, the proposed amended language to §709.14 (restriction on license) requires drug and alcohol facilities to inform DDAP of major changes in ownership, location, or operations, 30 days before such an occurrence, rather than 90 days after the occurrence.

DDAP is requesting comments on the preliminary proposed regulations before moving forward with the formal IRRC process. Written comments are due by Wednesday, April 27, 2016. A stakeholder meeting will be held on Monday, May 2, at 11:30 am, at the University of Pittsburgh Child Welfare Research Center, 403 East Winding Hill Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055.

In recent years, the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) had received concerns regarding the Bureau of Children’s Behavioral Health Services (Children’s Bureau). Four major themes emerged from this feedback relating to communication, regulations and policy, operational consistency, and system partner engagement. Last spring, OMHSAS engaged Mercer Consulting to conduct a study of the Children’s Bureau that included three two-hour focus groups with OMHSAS system partners, including representatives from RCPA. The primary goal of the review was to identify ways in which OMHSAS can improve internal operations as well as communication and collaboration.

On Tuesday, Deputy Secretary Dennis Marion shared both an executive summary of the Mercer Independent Study as well as his description of the steps forward that OMHSAS has initiated in response to the concerns and findings. The action items outlined by Deputy Secretary Marion are:

  • Review and consolidation of regulations related to Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services (BHRS). OMHSAS will engage with stakeholders to draft regulatory changes with the expectation that proposed BHRS regulations will be released for public comment in mid-2017.
  • Strategic reorganization of OMHSAS leadership. On March 7, Shannon Fagan joined OMHSAS as Children’s Bureau director, and Sherry Peters became director of the Bureau of Policy, Planning, and Program Development.
  • Organization-wide effort to improve consistency and quality. Moving forward, OMHSAS senior staff will focus on identifying areas of potential improvement, developing strategies to strengthen internal and external processes, promoting an organizational culture of collaboration, coordination, communication, and cohesiveness, and monitoring progress towards addressing the concerns voiced by OMHSAS stakeholders.
  • Emphasis on family and stakeholder engagement. The involvement of PACA, RCPA, BH-MCOs, and their contractors, played an integral role in working to identify issues of concern.
  • A redefining of “customer service.” To address concerns relating to responsiveness and professionalism, internal meetings have been held to stress the importance of holding OMHSAS staff to high standards of customer service.
  • Renewed focus on communications. In response to concerns regarding effectiveness of internal and external communications, Shanna Klucar was appointed as executive assistant to the deputy secretary on January 30.

OMHSAS invites RCPA members and other stakeholders to share comments and concerns regarding Children’s Behavioral Health Services to Shannon Fagan, bureau director, as well as the RCPA Children’s Division. In addition, members may contact OMHSAS leadership Sherry Peters and Shanna Klucar with more general comments and concerns.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) Medical Assistance Online Provider Enrollment Application information is now electronic, online, and available to provider organizations. The improvements and modernization of the PROMISe system have been strongly encouraged by RCPA and a significant goal of DHS. Some of the benefits of online enrollment application submissions are:

  • Allowing documents that previously had to be mailed or faxed to be uploaded directly to the portal;
  • Permitting providers see the status of their submissions; and
  • Decreasing wait time to review applications.

The information you will need to submit an application for enrollment:

  • Access the online enrollment application
  • Review the training guide
  • Review the frequently asked questions document for important clarifications
  • A “Help” feature is available at any time during the completion of an application
  • Supplemental Services require the Behavioral Health Managed Care Organization to attest that a provider is credentialed

CCBHCs will transform how behavioral health care is financed and reimbursed. As states and providers embark on this transformation, they face many questions, including:

  • How do we decide which prospective payment methodology to use – and what will its impact on behavioral health providers be?
  • How will we finance the state’s contribution?
  • How do state licensure and CCBHC certification requirements intersect?


Clearly understanding the unique financial opportunities and challenges associated with CCBHCs is a key ingredient to a successful implementation. This webinar will provide attendees with straightforward explanations of hot topics related to CCBHC financing and reimbursement. Our expert presenters will translate the current SAMHSA and CMS guidance to ensure all attendees are familiar with the relevant federal instructions and guidance.


The webinar will focus on the following topics:

  1. Prospective Payment Systems: explanation of the principles of PPS1 and PPS2 and overview of challenges identified in each approach, including a deep dive into the costs that go into your payment rate;
  2. Certification vs Licensure: clarification of the difference between certification and licensure and explanation of federal guidance on this point; and
  3. State Financing Strategies: description of state level financing mechanisms for their share of the Medicaid match, including the use of Certified Public Expenditures.



Date: Monday, March 28, 3:00 pm EDT

Presenters: Steve Kohler, senior manager, McBee Associates, Inc.; Steve Rosenberg, president, Community Oriented Correctional Health Services; Dan Mistak, general counsel, Community Oriented Correctional Health ServicesSusannah Vance Gopalan, partner, Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell LLP.  Register here.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced that they are extending the request for application deadline to Thursday, March 3, 2016, at 5:00 pm. Late last week, a glitch in the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) application was discovered. The Department of Human Services (DHS) fixed the issues and application information can now be entered in the correct fields. Due to this potentially causing a delay in completion of the application, DHS is extending the deadline. The application is available here.

Additional changes include that the required letters of support from the County Mental Health/Intellectual Disability Programs, and Single County Authorities, should be submitted directly to the CCBHC resource account. They should not be sent to the agency submitting the application.

DHS also invites you to attend the second CCBHC Steering Committee meeting. This meeting is taking place on Monday, February 29, 2016, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm at the Child Welfare Resource Center (403 East Winding Hill Road, Mechanicsburg). The first portion of the meeting will be devoted to providing an update and the remainder of the time will focus on the following CCBHC workgroups: Stakeholder Engagement, Data Collection and Reporting, Prospective Payment System, and CCBHC Certification.

RCPA business member and cost reporting expert Paul Stanalonis of Stanalonis and Associates, LLC, presented a cost reporting webinar for RCPA members interested in becoming a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC). Mr. Stanalonis has a long history of working within the industry on cost reporting, most recently with the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), submitting more than 150 residential and transportation cost reports.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) was recently awarded a planning grant that will assist in the creation of Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC). The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant will allow DHS to determine how CCBHCs fit into system redesign efforts, and support efforts to improve the behavioral health of Pennsylvanians by providing community-based mental health and substance use disorder treatment.

CCBHCs will serve adults with serious mental illnesses, children with severe emotional disturbances, and individuals with substance use disorders. The clinics will provide intensive, person-centered, multidisciplinary, evidence-based screen, assessment, diagnostics, treatment, prevention, and wellness services.

DHS invites you to attend one of the four regional CCBHC communication forums. This will be an open forum to gain input from our stakeholders and provide an opportunity to voice questions, comments, and concerns regarding the CCBHC process.

Friday, February 12, 2016
1:00–4:00 pm
OMHSAS Field Office, 100 Lackawanna Avenue, Scranton, PA 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016
1:00–4:00 pm
County Commissioners Association of PA (CCAP), 2789 Old Post Road, Harrisburg, PA 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016
1:00–4:00 pm
Norristown State Hospital, Building 33, 1001 Sterigere Street, Norristown, PA 

Friday, February 26, 2016
9:00 am–12:00 pm
Butler County Staff Development Center, 227 West Cunningham Street, Butler, PA

If you have not already done so, please email your RSVP with the following information: name, agency (if applicable), email address, and which forum you plan on attending.