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Physical Disabilities & Aging

The Department of Human Services (DHS) recently issued the following information and resources in preparation for the roll-out of Community HealthChoices (CHC) beginning January 2018 in the Southwest zone of the state.

Coming to the Southwest Zone in January 2018

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is committed to open and frequent communication to educate and inform individuals who will move to Community HealthChoices (CHC). It is critical that they are aware of the upcoming changes and are able to make an informed decision on their plan selection. We are using multiple channels to get the message out, and want to ensure that you are aware of upcoming information that potential participants will receive.

  • INFORMATIONAL FLYER

Participants in the Southwest Zone received this flyer (also available in Spanish) in August 2017 to inform them that CHC was coming to their county in January 2018.

  • CHC Community Meetings for Participants

Participants in the Southwest will receive an invitation to community meetings in late September.

There will be more than 40 events in the Southwest Zone, with at least one in each of the 14 impacted counties. The meetings will give more information about CHC, the LIFE program, and answer questions participants may have.

To register for a community meeting, participants can go to www.healthchoices.pa.gov or call 1-833-735-4416. A copy of the invitation is available here.

  • Notices

DHS will mail notices to potential participants beginning today. The notice will inform participants that they will transition to CHC in January and will need to select a health plan, also called a managed care organization (MCO).

The notice also tells potentially eligible participants that they may be eligible for the LIFE program.

Copies of the notices are be available here.

  • Pre-Enrollment Packets

Beginning on October 2, 2017, pre-enrollment packets will be mailed to participants. This packet will contain information about each of the health plans and the benefits offered by each plan, and tell participants how to enroll in a health plan. There will be a toll-free number and website for participants to use to make their selection. A day after the packets are mailed, automated calls will be made to let participants know that the packets are coming.

If participants do not select a health plan, they will get a follow-up call.

Individuals who do not select a plan by November 13, 2017, will be assigned to a plan. Individuals can change their plan at any time.

  • Social Media

DHS’ Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts make CHC information readily available. If you are not following us yet, please click the provided links to make sure you are receiving all up-to-date information on CHC and all department priorities.

chc-phases-map

(Map, Community HealthChoices Phases)

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) has extended an invitation to participate in a listening session tomorrow (Friday, August 11, 2017) from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm. This listening session is an opportunity to hear about the Partnerships for Innovation, Inclusion, and Independence, which is a proposed grant program that would combine the activities carried out by the State Councils on Developmental Disabilities, Statewide Independent Living Councils, and Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Councils into a single state grant program. Please refer to the invite for additional information.

Listening Session Dial-In Information:
Number: 800-857-9877
Participant Code: 8400563

The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) has announced the availability of a link to an online application for interested individuals to request employment services from the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR).

OVR is a state agency within the Department of Labor and Industry whose mission is “to assist Pennsylvanians with a disability secure and maintain employment and independence.” A person with a disability can either refer themselves, or their service coordinator (SC), advocate, family member, or friend may make a referral.

As a reminder, participants must first seek employment services through OVR before utilizing employment services through the Office of Long-Term Living waivers. To contact the OVR district office in your area, use this link. OVR now has an online application to request services. SCs are strongly encouraged to assist OLTL participants in completing the online application using the attached instructions.

Any questions or concerns regarding the above, including to request an alternate format, should be addressed to Edward Butler via email or phone at 717-214-3718.

On July 28, 2017, an Info was issued regarding the Office of Long-Term Living’s (OLTL’s) proposed waiver amendments to the Aging, Attendant Care, Independence, and OBRA waivers. On August 1, OLTL issued a follow-up email regarding these amendments, as well as some additional information including how to view a side-by-side comparison of the current and revised language, the comment forms, and information on webinars that have been scheduled in August. The webinars will be used to receive comments on the proposed waiver amendments. The information in that email is provided below for additional details. As a reminder, the public comment period on the proposed waiver amendments ends on August 31, 2017.

 

From OLTL
In September 2017, the Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) will be submitting amendments to the Aging, Attendant Care, Independence, and OBRA waivers. To view a side-by-side comparison of the current and revised language, and to access the amendments in their entirety, please use this link.

 

On this site, select the individual waiver amendment you would like to view under “Related Topics.” All documents are available in alternate format and in paper copy upon request by calling the Office of Long-Term Living Bureau of Policy and Regulatory Management at 717-783-8412.

 

Public Input

The July 29, 2017, Volume 47, Number 30 issue of the Pennsylvania Bulletin contains the public notice announcing amendments to the Aging, Attendant Care, Independence, and OBRA waivers. OLTL is seeking public comment on these waiver amendments. Interested persons are invited to submit written comments to the Department of Human Services, Office of Long-Term Living, Bureau of Policy and Regulatory Management, Attention: Aging Waiver, Attendant Care, Independence, or OBRA Waiver, PO Box 8025, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8025. Comments can also be sent via email using the comment forms that OLTL has provided. The comment forms can be found at this link.

 

On this site, select the individual waiver amendment you would like to view under “Related Topics” and the comment form will be listed in the documents. The public comment period ends on August 31, 2017. Comments received within the 30-day comment period will be reviewed and considered for revisions to the amendments.

 

The Office of Long-Term Living will offer two webinars in August for public input and discussion. The webinars will be held on Monday, August 7, 2017, from 10:00 am – 11:00 am and Wednesday, August 16, from 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm. Please see the information below for further details on the scheduled webinars.

 

  • Please register here for the Aging, Attendant Care, Independence, and OBRA Waiver Changes Webinar on August 7, 2017 10:00 am EDT.
  • Please register here for the Aging, Attendant Care, Independence, and OBRA Waiver Changes Webinar on August 16, 2017 1:30 pm EDT.

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. The connection link you receive will be unique to you and should not be shared with others.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has made available for public review and comment the Office of Long-Term Living’s (OLTL) proposed waiver amendments to the following waivers:

The notices were released and will be published in the July 29, 2017 Pennsylvania Bulletin. Comments on the proposed waiver amendments submitted within 30 days will be reviewed and considered. They can be submitted to the Department of Human Services, Office of Long-Term Living, Bureau of Policy and Regulatory Management, Attention: Aging Amendments; Attendant Care Amendments; Independence Amendments; or OBRA Amendments (based on which waiver comments are being submitted), PO Box 8025, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8025. Comments may also be submitted to the Department via email. Use “Aging Waiver Amendments,” “Attendant Care Waiver Amendments,” Independence Waiver Amendments,” or ”OBRA Waiver Amendments” as the subject line depending on which waiver comments are being submitted.

DHS will be holding two webinars on the proposed waiver amendments. The dates and times of the webinars, including the call information, will be posted to the DHS OLTL Waiver Information website or by calling 717-783-8412.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is interested in launching a new payment model that will target behavioral health services and is seeking public comment on what the new effort should look like. On Thursday, July 20 CMS announced that its Innovation Center would like to design a payment or service delivery model to improve health care quality and access for Medicare, Medicaid, or Children’s Health Insurance Program beneficiaries with behavioral health conditions. The model may address the needs of beneficiaries battling substance use or mental health disorders; it could also target Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The Innovation Center will be soliciting ideas at a public meeting on Friday, Sept 8 at CMS headquarters in Baltimore. More information about the effort and registration for the meeting is available online.