Medical Rehab

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has been hosting regular stakeholder calls for a variety of health care providers, including clinicians, hospitals, and other facilities in order to keep them updated on their COVID-19 efforts. Because so many are busy with COVID-19, these calls have been recorded. Members can access both the recordings of these calls as well as the transcripts. Both are available on the CMS Outreach and Education website.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) today announced the launch of a statewide Support & Referral Helpline, staffed by skilled and compassionate staff who will be available 24/7 to assist Pennsylvanians struggling with anxiety and other challenging emotions due to the COVID-19 emergency, and refer them to community-based resources that can further help to meet individual needs.

The toll-free, round-the-clock support line is officially operational. The number to call is 855-284-2494. For TTY, dial 724-631-5600.

To create and staff the support line, DHS has partnered with the Center for Community Resources (CCR), an experienced regional crisis and call center provider based in Butler County and licensed to provide crisis services.

CCR staff are trained to be accessible, culturally competent, and skilled at assisting individuals with mental illness, intellectual disabilities, co-occurring disorders, and other special needs. Staff use the principles of trauma-informed care to listen, assess needs, triage calls, and provide appropriate referral to community resources to children, teens, adults, and special populations.

CCR will collaborate with individuals, families, police, emergency medical teams, hospitals, schools, and human service providers on the local level to provide quality care to their community members.

Many other resources also remain available to Pennsylvanians in need of support, including:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio: 888-628-9454
  • Crisis Text Line: Text “PA” to 741-741
  • Veteran Crisis Line: 800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 800-985-5990
  • Get Help Now Hotline (for substance use disorders): 800-662-4357
  • Pennsylvania Sexual Assault Helpline: 888-772-7227
  • National Domestic Violence Helpline: 800-799-7233

Visit the PA Department of Health’s dedicated Coronavirus web page for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.

Additional resources for citizens and DHS providers related to COVID-19 are available here.

Join the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Family Support on Tuesday, April 7, at 2:00 PM EST for a webinar discussing caregiving and COVID-19. This presentation is geared towards family caregivers of someone with a disability or chronic illness. We will be answering questions about how to best provide care for your loved one, and to take care of yourself as well, during this time.

Speakers include:
Kathleen Lindell, PhD, RN, ATSF, FAAN
Associate Professor of Medicine & Nursing
University of Pittsburgh Dorothy P. and Richard P. Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Disease at UPMC

Gregory Cherpes, MD
Medical Director
Department of Human Services, Office of Developmental Programs

Nancy Murray, MS
Senior Vice President, Achieva
President, The Arc of Greater Pittsburgh

Participation is free, but registration is required.

There will be time at the end for Q&A with our presenters. There will be a limited ability to take questions during the webinar, so we highly encourage you to submit them ahead of time via email.

Or iPhone one-tap:

US: +12678310333,,880307670# or 8778535247,,880307670# (Toll Free)

Or Telephone:

Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 267 831 0333 or 877 853 5247 (Toll Free)
Webinar ID: 880 307 670
Participant ID: 181,125
International numbers available: https://pitt.zoom.us/u/anVcg5B8S

Over the past few weeks, RCPA has held numerous webinars, conference calls, and other outreach to our members regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the major issues members are facing concerns the definition of what constitutes a health care provider under the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

RCPA has received conflicting guidance on the definition of a health care provider; therefore, RCPA sought a legal interpretation from attorneys. The attorneys believe that RCPA mental health, behavioral health, drug and alcohol, and intellectual and physical disability providers are included in the broad language of the definition; however, RCPA and its members have been directed to consult with their own legal counsel or human resources team. With this ambiguity in the definition of what constitutes a health care provider, RCPA members are not able to make appropriate business and health related decisions for their employees and clients.

RCPA and its members need clarification; therefore, RCPA sent Governor Wolf a letter today, requesting him to resolve this issue. As the letter states, RCPA believes the Governor has the authority and may deem our members, who offer mental health, behavioral health, drug and alcohol, as well as intellectual and physical disability services, as essential health care providers.

Questions, please contact Jack Phillips.

CMS has issued guidance that for services requiring direct supervision by a physician or other practitioner, that physician supervision can be provided virtually using real-time audio/video technology. National Council has offered interpretation of this guidance which is that for services provided “incident to” a supervising physician, audio/video consultation can now take the place of the onsite supervision requirement. This is a temporary change for the duration of the emergency.