Policy Areas

ODPANN 21-006 – COVID-19 – Guidance for Individual Support Plans that are Effective through June 30, 2021 communicates guidance for services included in individual support plans (ISPs) that are effective through June 30, 2021. It also includes guidance for individuals enrolled in the Consolidated, Community Living, Person/Family Directed Support (P/FDS) or Adult Autism Waiver programs.

On December 22, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a letter directed to state health officials informing states that they may complete a new Appendix K if they want to continue waiver flexibilities. Waiver flexibilities may be continued for no longer than six months after the end of the public health emergency. The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) will be submitting a new Appendix K to enable the flexibilities specified in the Operational Guide to remain in effect through at least June 30, 2021.

  • For current ISPs that contain an end date of March for any flexibility that continues to be allowable and is needed by the participant, revisions should be completed to extend the end date as needed, but it may go no later than June 30, 2021. For new ISPs or ISPs where participants need to utilize the flexibilities for the first time, the flexibilities specified in the Operational Guide may be included in the ISP with an end date of no later than June 30, 2021.
  • For current ISPs that contain services that the ISP team agrees will not be utilized between now and June 30, 2021, these services should be removed or end dated in the ISP. Pursuant to CMS guidance, participants must not be disenrolled from the Consolidated, Community Living, or P/FDS Waiver if this causes the participant to have an ISP with no services authorized except supports coordination through June 30, 2021.
  • The total number of day units of residential habilitation for participants enrolled in the Consolidated Waiver should not exceed 400 in the ISP for the year. Allowing the ISP to contain more than 365 day units per year minimizes critical revisions related to calculations of residential habilitation “with day” and “without day” caused by unanticipated circumstances.
  • For the Consolidated, Community Living, and P/FDS Waivers, ODP encourages ISP teams to delay completion of ISPs for Fiscal Year 2021 – 2022 until guidance is published regarding the development of ISPs that will cover this time frame. For the Adult Autism Waiver, annual review plans (ARP) should continue to be completed in the established time frames.

Questions or comments can be directed to the appropriate ODP regional office.

ODP Announcement 21-007 provides written notification of the requirement to submit qualification documentation for providers who have a Master Provider Index (MPI) number ending in zero, one, or two. Providers within this group are due to become requalified in 2021 and must submit documentation no later than 61 days prior to the expiration of provider qualification.

Specifically, supporting documentation must be submitted starting on February 1, 2021 but no later than March 31, 2021. Documentation must include a completed DP 1059 form and/or DP 1088 form, an updated Provider Qualification Documentation Record, and any required supporting documentation. Please note that the updated Provider Qualification Documentation Record now has new tabs that pertain specifically to Adult Autism Waiver (AAW) providers.

Photo by SOUVIK ROY on Unsplash

Human trafficking is a widespread crime and a growing public health concern. This crime occurs when force, fraud, or coercion are used to compel a person into commercial sex acts or labor services against their will.

Because fighting this crime requires bilateral and regional cooperation for the prevention, assistance, and protection of trafficked persons, a two-day summit will be held for representatives of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to share best practices, learn from survivor experts, and explore multidisciplinary approaches to regional partnerships.

The goal of the summit is to lead multilateral cooperation and synergy among these states as we work to ensure the safety and freedom of trafficked persons. Please register here to attend.

From: Office of Developmental Programs (ODP)

Thursday, January 14, 2021 • 3:32 PM

To: Providers of Community Participation Supports (CPS) and Transportation-Trip Services

  • In response to the ongoing pandemic, ODP will be providing additional financial support to providers of CPS and transportation-trip services.
  • This support will be in the form of 1) enhanced fee-schedule rates for the period from January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021 and 2) potential reimbursement of allowable fixed costs.
  • Further details and communication will be forthcoming within the next few weeks.
  • In the interim, while the details are being finalized, providers of these services are requested to refrain from billing for these services for any dates of service after January 1. This will minimize the need for corrections and assist with the efficient implementation of enhanced rates.

Rick Smith l Director
PA Department of Human Services l Office of Developmental Programs
Bureau of Financial Management and Program Support
625 Forster Street, Room 412 l Harrisburg, PA 17120

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The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) identified that the Guidance for Adult Daily Living Providers issued on January 4, 2021 contained an incorrect procedure code for Adult Daily Living Basic Half Day. The correct procedure code is S5102 and modifier U5. The revised guidance contains the correct procedure code.

In addition to this correction, OLTL has received questions on the process for adult daily living providers who wish to provide telephonic and remote services but are currently enrolled to provide enhanced services only. These providers must contact OLTL’s enrollment team to enroll as a provider of basic adult daily living services. Providers who are enrolled to render enhanced adult daily living services would meet the requirements to also render basic adult daily living services; as a result, OLTL’s enrollment team will not require additional documentation from these providers. Providers operating in Community HealthChoices (CHC) should also contact the CHC Managed Care Organizations to ensure that they are properly enrolled to provide telephonic and remote services.

If you have questions about the information in this Listserv email, please contact the OLTL Provider Helpline at 1-800-932-0939.

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash

January 14, 2021

Harrisburg, PA – As part of the Wolf Administration’s effort to roll out the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Tom Wolf has approved a temporary waiver that allows pharmacists licensed by the Department of State to order and administer COVID-19 vaccines without a physician’s order when vaccines are available to the public. Adding pharmacists to the health-care professionals administering COVID-19 vaccines expands options for Pennsylvanians to be immunized once the vaccine is widely available from the federal government.

“Pharmacists, as well as pharmacy interns and technicians, are critical partners in the commonwealth’s plan to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine,” Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said. “Many Pennsylvanians will go to their local pharmacy for vaccination. This waiver will enable pharmacies to offer the COVID-19 vaccines without a physician’s order.”

Pennsylvania pharmacists, who meet certain training and other requirements, can obtain authorization to administer injectable medications, biologicals, and immunizations. If a pharmacist has that authorization, he or she can administer any immunization, including COVID-19 immunizations, to persons 18 years of age or older.

Historically, some pharmacies have entered into arrangements with physicians in order to receive reimbursement for flu shots and other vaccinations. Many pharmacies, however, do not have an arrangement with a physician, and even those that do have not had time to incorporate the COVID-19 vaccination into that relationship. This waiver would allow pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 vaccine without such a provider agreement.

“We are working on ways to increase access to the vaccine, and pharmacists already play an important role in making sure Pennsylvanians are protected,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Pennsylvanians continue to play an essential role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by masking up, washing up, and socially distancing.”

This waiver applies solely to COVID-19 vaccines for the duration of the Governor’s Disaster Emergency Declaration plus 90 days.

For more information about the Department of State’s COVID-19 response, visit the Department of State website.


Wanda Murren, 717-783-1621

April Hutcheson

The 2021 RCPA Conference, Leading in 2021: Hope, Help, Heal, will tentatively be held as a hybrid event. As the COVID-19 pandemic permits, it will take place both at the Hershey Lodge as well as virtually. Since this is a premier statewide event, the Conference Committee is seeking workshop proposals for possible inclusion. The conference offers diverse educational opportunities, and submissions are needed in every area. A complete listing of focus tracks is available on the proposal form. Last year, many submissions were unable to be utilized due to the pandemic and the shift from an in-person to virtual format.

Presentations that assist providers in developing and maintaining quality, effective treatments, services, and agencies in an industry where change is constant are encouraged. The committee looks for presentations which:

  • Highlight new policy, research, and treatment initiatives;
  • Provide specific skills and information related to individual and organizational leadership development and enhancement;
  • Address system changes that affect business practices such as value-based purchasing; and
  • Offer concrete skills and tools to operate more efficient, effective agencies in a pandemic and post-pandemic arena.

Workshop ideas for 2021 include:

  • Strategies for Effective Teleintervention;
  • Assessing Abuse and Neglect in a Virtual Encounter;
  • The Impact of the Pandemic on Child Welfare/Abuse/Neglect;
  • Coping with Grief and Loss;
  • Preventing/Mitigating Provider Burnout;
  • Family and Caregiver Engagement;
  • Strategies to Combat the Impact of Screen-Time Fatigue (Telework, Virtual School, Virtual Socialization);
  • DEI Topics – Assessing Implicit Bias, Overcoming Implicit Bias, How to Develop a DEI Plan;
  • The PH-BH Interface – Finding Common Ground to Treat the Whole Person;
  • Ongoing Workforce Shortage Solutions;
  • The Changing Health-Care Landscape During and Post Pandemic;
  • Managing Human Capital/Resources Virtually;
  • Integrated Care Strategies for Implementation and Reimbursement;
  • Managed Care Models for People with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities;
  • Remote Services/Use of Technology in all Types of Support Services for Individuals with IDD;
  • Ethics Topics Across the Membership;
  • Emergency Planning for Community Violence;
  • Acquisitions/Mergers and Consolidations;
  • Value-Based Purchasing; and
  • Employing People with Disabilities.

The committee welcomes any proposal that addresses these and other topics essential to the rehabilitation, mental health, addiction, children’s, aging, intellectual and developmental disability, and physical disability communities. Members are encouraged to consider submitting proposals and to forward this opportunity to those who are exceptionally good speakers and who have state-of-the-art information to share.

The Call for Proposals and accompanying “Guidelines for Developing Educational Objectives” outline requirements for submissions. The deadline for submissions is Monday, February 22 at 5:00 pm. Proposals must be submitted electronically to Sarah Eyster on the form provided. Confirmation of receipt will be sent. Proposals submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Proposals selected stand out by inclusion of solid learning objectives, information that a participant can use to enhance professional skills or methods, and ability to engage a diverse and advanced audience. If the proposal is accepted, individuals must be prepared to present on any day of the conference. Workshops are 60–75 minutes in length for a single session or 120–150 minutes in length for a double session. At the time of acceptance, presenters will be required to confirm the ability to submit workshop handouts electronically four weeks prior to the conference.

Individuals are welcome to submit multiple proposals. Notification of inclusion will be made via email by May 10. Questions may be directed to Sarah Eyster, Conference Coordinator.

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Hello Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) Stakeholders,

I hope you are well, safe, and healthy as we start the new year.

I would like to share updates on the commonwealth’s COVID-19 vaccination process as well as provide tips on how you can prepare your organizations to receive the vaccine.

Vaccination Process

Last Friday, the Department of Health (DOH) released the fourth version of its COVID-19 Interim Vaccination Plan. The plan is both fluid and flexible to meet the latest federal guidance and recommendations. It will continue to receive updates. DOH released this version with a feedback form that invites public comment on the plan. This feedback will help inform Pennsylvania’s vaccination planning.

Pennsylvania continues to work its way through the initial phase of vaccine distribution – Phase 1A. This phase is focused on frontline, health-care personnel, emergency medical first responders, and long-term care facility residents. The time it will take to complete this phase is influenced by factors such as:

  • The limited amount of available vaccine;
  • Which vaccines are available;
  • The storage capabilities of private/public partners; and
  • Pennsylvania’s allocation from the federal government.

Many of DDAP’s stakeholders will be in the next phase of vaccinations, Phase 1B. While the above factors make it difficult to determine when or where that phase will start, there are several things you can do to prepare your organizations.

How to Prepare

Identify one nearby hospital or health-care system enrolled to provide the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Monday, the Department of Health launched its Pennsylvania Vaccine Provider Map. This map shows all entities that are enrolled to provide the vaccine. Using this map, you should identify a nearby location where your staff can get the vaccine at the appropriate time.
  • The map identifies contact information for the specific location’s vaccine liaison. Connect with the individual to ensure that you have all necessary information to prepare your staff.

Prioritize Staff

  • Due to vaccine availability, your entire staff might not be able to receive vaccine at the same time. Be prepared to prioritize those staff who are at the greatest risk for exposure.
  • Encourage staff to visit their primary care physicians to review their medical history, ensuring that they are eligible for vaccination.

Prepare Necessary Documentation for Staff

  • Staff will have to provide proof of occupation to receive the vaccine. This could include a state license or certification, letter from their employer on organization letterhead, facility identification/security badge, or other proof of occupation. Ensure that these documents are ready.

Stay Informed

  • For the most up-to-date information on Pennsylvania’s vaccine distribution, I encourage each of you to regularly visit the Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccine portion of their website as well as their news section, which provides updates on how much vaccine and where the vaccine has been received in Pennsylvania. Feel free to utilize the COVID-19 vaccine toolkit, which provides vaccine development background, facts, and graphics for your facilities and social media channels.

DDAP’s Commitment

DDAP’s commitment to each of you is to be transparent throughout the vaccine planning process. We are working closely with the Department of Health to provide information to you as quickly as possible, but I ask for your continued patience as the logistics are developed and finalized. Thank you for your continued patience as more information becomes available and for your continued partnership in ensuring that all members of Pennsylvania’s drug and alcohol system remain safe.

Questions can be forwarded to Derrick Pelletier.

Be well,

Jen Smith
DDAP Secretary

Together, New York Life and Cigna, through our foundations, created the Brave of Heart Fund, which is dedicated to providing health-care workers and their families with peace of mind. The fund is designed to provide financial support in the form of charitable relief grants to support the families of health-care workers who lose their lives to COVID-19.

In addition, Cigna Behavioral Health will provide emotional support and services.

If you have lost a family member who is a health-care worker to COVID-19, please verify your eligibility to apply for a Brave of Heart Fund grant now.