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CRR Services

On behalf of the RCPA Community Residential Rehabilitation (CRR) service providers and the individuals of Pennsylvania that they serve, RCPA submits our CRR Regulatory Reform Recommendations to the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS). The current lack of access to care is a result of the workforce crisis and operational requirements of implementing the regulations. We feel these access issues and individuals waiting for services are compelling reasons, in the interest of the public, to merit a review of the regulations based on section 8.1 of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P.S. § 745.8a).

The COVID-19 DHS regulatory flexibilities provided relief for providers, and OMHSAS continues to offer waivers to agencies experiencing critical staffing shortages. Providers are grateful for these temporary solutions; however, these waivers do not address the long-term impacts of the current regulatory requirements. Providers continue to struggle to hire qualified staff and contend with burdensome operational requirements, many of which negatively contribute to the efficiency of care delivery. Therefore, many of the guidelines that were allowed under the suspension of regulations and frequent waiver requests are incorporated into recommendations for permanent improvements to the regulations.

Our recommendations place focus on the care of the individuals and address the challenges and barriers CRR service providers have faced in creating the staffing infrastructures and meeting the burdensome operational protocols for regulatory compliance. The overreaching nature of the regulations, coupled with the impact of the pandemic, has caused great strain on an already depleted behavioral health workforce. These system stressors limit the ability to provide vital, quality services to individuals. Under current regulations, programs are forced to focus on administrative details that do not have a meaningful effect on the actual care of the individual.

These CRR Regulatory Recommendations will also be directed to the Governor’s Policy Office, the Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Arkoosh, and members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

RCPA would like to thank the members of the CRR Regulatory Review team for their focused and diligent efforts to make this submission possible. If you have any questions, please contact RCPA Policy Director Jim Sharp.

Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels

Step By Step, Inc. Launches Community Residential Rehabilitation (CRR) Services in Lewistown and Huntingdon

Step By Step is pleased to announce the official launch of two Community Residential Rehabilitation (CRR) services in Lewistown and Huntingdon. This milestone represents a significant advancement in the agency’s commitment to providing essential mental health support to individuals in need.

Lesley Corey, ​Chief Operating Officer at Step By Step, expressed her satisfaction, stating, “We are excited to take this significant step forward in our mission to offer vital mental health support to individuals within our community who require it the most. Our team has worked tirelessly to transition these services to our agency, and we are deeply committed to making a positive impact in the lives of those we serve. The need for accessible and compassionate mental health care has never been greater, and we are honored to be able to fill this gap in the regions of Lewistown and Huntingdon.”

CRR services are designed to support individuals in their pursuit of wellness and recovery. The service provides transitional housing and support for adults ages 18+ with mental health disorders. In engaging, home-like residences, individuals develop the skills, habits, and confidence necessary to continue on their personal journeys of recovery and growth and ultimately transition to the living arrangement of their choice. Step By Step’s team of dedicated professionals provides comprehensive coaching and practical tools to assist individuals in developing essential skills and successfully transitioning to their desired living environment, whether it be an independent apartment or reuniting with family members.

Step By Step remains committed to delivering trauma-informed, resilience-oriented, and equity-focused services. The human service agency integrates evidence-based practices such as WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plans) and Personal Medicine Coaching, ensuring individuals have the resources to take charge of their recovery and well-being.

Step By Step extends its appreciation to all individuals and organizations who contributed to the establishment of these CRR services. Their support and collaboration have played a vital role in positively impacting the lives of those served by the organization.

As Step By Step moves forward, it eagerly anticipates engaging with the community and coordinating additional services to further enhance the wellbeing of Huntingdon, Mifflin, and Juniata Counties. Stay tuned for further updates as the organization continues to evolve and expand its mission.

About Step By Step: 

Step By Step, Inc. is a private, non-profit corporation devoted to providing community support services to children and adults in Pennsylvania with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, autism, mental health disorders, and/ or substance use disorders.

Established in 1977, the agency today provides services to over 2,000 individuals across Pennsylvania. Throughout its history, Step By Step, Inc. has maintained a progressive view of the potential of individuals with disabilities.

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