The ISAC Committee met today and the Deputy Secretary and Dr. Cherpes provided an update.
Deputy Secretary Ahrens shared that the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) budget request items were in fact included in the state budget. This includes an initiative to address the waiting list through the addition of 732 Community Living Waiver and 100 Consolidated Waiver placements for emergencies.
The incentive program for providers to transition individuals from group homes to Lifesharing or Supported Living is also included. ODP is working on developing the details of this initiative, which is expected to be implemented in January 2022.
The plan for the American Rescue Plan funds is still being developed by the Department of Human Services (DHS). They have been in discussions with Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to determine the parameters.
The temporarily increased rates for CPS and Transportation Trip will continue to be in effect. Individuals may exceed their waiver caps, and no one should lose a single unit of service through the pandemic. This is approved by CMS in Appendix K.
Appendix K is approved based upon the federal public health emergency (PHE), which has recently been extended and is likely to be extended again. Appendix K can be in place for 6 months after the PHE has ended. Therefore, Appendix K will be in effect at least until March of 2022, likely though to June.
ODP shared the results of the recent CPS survey that was completed. Providers should keep in mind that individuals cannot be denied services due to their inability or unwillingness to wear a mask. This would be considered an ADA accommodation.
Julie Mochon provided an update on the Home and Community-Based Settings rule and Pennsylvania’s plan to meet the expectations from CMS.
Leah Sheffield presented an update about ISAC Recommendation #1 — Assure Effective Communication and shared that ODP intends to make changes to this service definition in the new waiver renewals. Ron Melusky also provided information on Self Direction in services.