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Deadline

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) has extended the deadline for providers and Supports Coordination Organizations (SCO) to utilize the one-time funds made available through ARPA. This had been discussed at RCPA’s recent IDD Committee meeting, and Deputy Secretary Ahrens appreciated the feedback. The deadline to spend the funds has been moved to March 31, 2025.

Please see ODP Announcement 22-107 for details.

Image by Gino Crescoli from Pixabay

A reminder to providers who received Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments during the period January 1, 2021, to June 30, 2021. You must use the PRF Reporting Portal to document the use of these funds by this Friday, September 30, 2022.

According to the HRSA website, “Recipients who do not report within the respective reporting time period will be considered out of compliance with payment Terms and Conditions, and funds may be subject to recoupment.”

If you have any questions, please contact your RCPA Policy Director.

Theory to Practice:
Real World Applications of PBS Strategies

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) is requesting proposals that focus on the lived experience of professionals who provide support for individuals on the autism spectrum to present at the 2022 Pennsylvania Autism Training Conference: #PATCImplement2022. We will be highlighting the concept of implementing Positive Behavioral Support (PBS) practices. We want to give you the opportunity to share your PBS experiences, challenges, and successes.

Deadline Extended!
September 26, 2022

For more information, including instructions on how to submit your proposal, see the flyer.

The 2022 RCPA Conference, Together, will be held October 11–14 at the Hershey Lodge as a premier statewide event. The Conference Committee is seeking workshop proposals in every area for possible inclusion. The deadline for submissions is Monday, March 14 at 5:00 pm. Encouraged presentations are those that assist providers in developing and maintaining high-quality, stable, and effective treatments, services, and agencies in an industry where change is constant. The committee looks for presentations that:

  • Highlight new policy, research, and treatment initiatives, such as telehealth innovations;
  • Provide specific skills and information related to individual and organizational leadership development and enhancement;
  • Address system changes that affect business practices, including value-based purchasing and alternative payment models;
  • Provide guidance on recruiting and developing a committed workforce;
  • Offer concrete skills and tools to operate more efficient, effective agencies; and
  • Inspire ideas for organizations to work Together.

Workshop ideas for 2022 include:

  • Workforce shortage solutions;
  • The changing health care landscape, including telehealth changes;
  • Executive leadership;
  • Integrated care strategies for implementation and reimbursement;
  • Managed care models for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities, including other state experiences;
  • Advanced ethics topics;
  • Acquisitions/mergers and consolidations;
  • Value-based purchasing and alternative payment options; and
  • Employing people with disabilities.

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

The Call for Proposals (featuring a complete listing of focus tracks) and accompanying Guidelines for Developing Educational Objectives outline requirements for submissions. Please send RCPA your proposal by Monday, March 14 at 5:00 pm. Proposals must be submitted electronically on the form provided; confirmation of receipt will be sent. Proposals submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

If the proposal is accepted, individuals must be prepared to present on any day of the conference. Workshops are 90 or 180 minutes in length. 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 unable to meet this expectation should not submit proposals for consideration.

Individuals are welcome to submit multiple proposals, and we encourage members to share this information with speakers and presenters who they believe would be a good fit for the conference. Notification of inclusion will be made via email by May 13, 2022. Questions may be directed to Sarah Eyster or Carol Ferenz, Conference Coordinators.

We look forward to coming together again this October!

The 2022 RCPA Conference, Together, will be held October 11–14 at the Hershey Lodge as a premier statewide event. The Conference Committee is seeking workshop proposals in every area for possible inclusion. The deadline for submissions is Monday, March 14 at 5:00 pm. Encouraged presentations are those that assist providers in developing and maintaining high-quality, stable, and effective treatments, services, and agencies in an industry where change is constant. The committee looks for presentations that:

  • Highlight new policy, research, and treatment initiatives, such as telehealth innovations;
  • Provide specific skills and information related to individual and organizational leadership development and enhancement;
  • Address system changes that affect business practices, including value-based purchasing and alternative payment models;
  • Provide guidance on recruiting and developing a committed workforce;
  • Offer concrete skills and tools to operate more efficient, effective agencies; and
  • Inspire ideas for organizations to work Together.

Workshop ideas for 2022 include:

  • Workforce shortage solutions;
  • The changing health care landscape, including telehealth changes;
  • Executive leadership;
  • Integrated care strategies for implementation and reimbursement;
  • Managed care models for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities, including other state experiences;
  • Advanced ethics topics;
  • Acquisitions/mergers and consolidations;
  • Value-based purchasing and alternative payment options; and
  • Employing people with disabilities.

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

The Call for Proposals (featuring a complete listing of focus tracks) and accompanying Guidelines for Developing Educational Objectives outline requirements for submissions. Please send RCPA your proposal by Monday, March 14 at 5:00 pm. Proposals must be submitted electronically on the form provided; confirmation of receipt will be sent. Proposals submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

If the proposal is accepted, individuals must be prepared to present on any day of the conference. Workshops are 90 or 180 minutes in length. 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 unable to meet this expectation should not submit proposals for consideration.

Individuals are welcome to submit multiple proposals, and we encourage members to share this information with speakers and presenters who they believe would be a good fit for the conference. Notification of inclusion will be made via email by May 13, 2022. Questions may be directed to Sarah Eyster or Carol Ferenz, Conference Coordinators.

We look forward to coming together again this October!

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Following the Commonwealth Court’s decision to deny the Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization of Pennsylvania’s (DASPOP) request for a preliminary injunction against key pieces of the ASAM transition, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) participated in RCPA’s Drug and Alcohol Committee meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 14. You can read the court’s opinion here.

Despite establishing a deadline by which providers must align with the ASAM Criteria, including the “PA-Specific Alignment Requirements,” and in particular referencing the changes in IOP ratio, daily therapeutic hours, and credentialing as “PA-Specific Alignment Requirements” of the ASAM transition on its website, DDAP argued in court that these are “guidelines,” not requirements. The challenge for providers, however, is that the single county authorities (SCAs) and behavioral health managed care organizations (BHMCOs) have signaled all along that they will require providers to comply with these pieces of the ASAM transition through contracts. Now, DDAP’s pivot to calling them “guidelines” has created confusion among providers and payers. RCPA has contacted each of the five BHMCOs and the Pennsylvania Association of County Drug and Alcohol Administrators (PACDAA) to ask whether DDAP’s testimony and the court’s decision will change their approach to enforcing the guidelines/mandates in question through their contracts. We will pass along any relevant information we may receive. In addition, DDAP told us it will be issuing guidance and clarification on these guidelines right before or after the new year.

At RCPA’s D&A Committee meeting last week, DDAP Deputy Secretary Ellen DiDomenico explained how ASAM explicitly defines its criteria versus DDAP’s interpretation of that criteria and what it is now calling recommended guidelines. For example, while the ASAM Criteria explicitly calls for daily clinical hours, DDAP has established six to eight daily therapeutic hours as the application of ASAM’s criteria in Pennsylvania. As DDAP has communicated all along, Deputy Secretary DiDomenico explained that if providers can demonstrate the ability to provide individualized care in ways other than what DDAP “recommends,” it will consider those.

DDAP also said at the meeting that nothing has changed with the court’s decision, which we would interpret to mean that unless a provider has been approved to provide care in a way other than what DDAP recommends, providers must be aligned with their guidelines by Jan. 1, 2022. For example, unless a provider has been approved to provide intensive outpatient services at a ratio other than 1:15, that provider must meet the 1:15 guideline. DDAP also said at the meeting that it is working with the MCOs and SCAs to develop a monitoring tool with the goal being development of a collaborative monitoring process so that providers will not need to be monitored for ASAM alignment by multiple payers. Deputy Secretary DiDomenico also said that monitoring of ASAM compliance would focus on ASAM Criteria as explicitly written in the ASAM Criteria 3rd Edition.

Lastly, House Bill 1995, which would have forced DDAP to go through the regulatory review process any time it made changes that affect licensed addiction treatment providers, has stalled in the Senate. After sailing out of the House of Representatives on a timeline that would have enabled it to pass the Senate and land on the governor’s desk before Jan. 1, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee did not take up the bill for vote. With the General Assembly recessed through the end of the year, there is no possibility of HB 1995 providing relief to providers on the confusion around these ASAM guidelines before Jan. 1.

Given the contradictions and confusion, we will share any guidance we get from DDAP as soon as we get it. Please contact RCPA Drug and Alcohol Division Director Jason Snyder with any questions.

The following announcement/reminder was issued and directed to Personal Care Homes (PCH), Assisted Living Residences (ALRs), and nursing facilities (NFs) by the Department of Human Services (DHS)/Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL):

This message is to serve as a reminder that the deadline to apply for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) payments is Friday, October 15, 2021. If you have not yet submitted your Facility Acceptance Form, please do so on or before October 15 using the highlighted directions below. The facility acceptance form may be found on the DHS Long-Term Care Providers page. PCH and ALR providers that already submitted a Facility Acceptance Form do not need to resend a form.


This message is to update and replace the Listserv email sent on August 31, 2021 with the subject “American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) One-Time Payments – Notification, Instructions, and Timelines.”

The Office of Long-Term Living has published revised lists of qualifying entities and payment amounts for personal care home (PCH) and assisted living residence (ALR) ARPA payments. The revised lists are available as of September 9, 2021, on the DHS Long-Term Care Providers page under the heading ‘American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding.’ Revisions include the addition of providers omitted from the original published list and corrected payment amounts for providers that experienced a change of ownership or a name change between April 1, 2020 and June 1, 2021. These revisions resulted in adjustments to payment amounts for all qualifying PCH and ALR providers.

PCH and ALR providers that already submitted a Facility Acceptance Form do not need to resend a form. 


American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) One-Time Payments – Notification, Instructions, and Timelines

Governor Wolf signed Act 24 of 2021, which allocates $282 million of federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for payments to nursing facilities (NF), personal care homes (PCH), and assisted living residences (ALR). To qualify for the one-time payment, a facility must be in operation as of June 1, 2021.

These one-time ARPA funds must be used for COVID-19 related costs not otherwise reimbursed by federal, state, or other sources of funding. The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) sent a letter dated August 30, 2021, with details about the payments, including information about the approved use of and reporting on these funds. For reference, a sample of the letter, a list of qualifying entities and payment amounts, and a copy of the Facility Acceptance Form are available on the DHS Long-Term Care Providers page under the heading ‘American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding.’

Nursing Facility Payments

  • ARPA NF Payment #1 – Medical Assistance (MA) Days
    • The total funds available for a one-time payment to Non-Public and County NFs pursuant to Act 24 (ARPA NF Payment #1) is $198,000,000. Each facility’s ARPA NF Payment #1 is calculated by dividing the facility’s MA days, as reported for the NF Assessment for the third quarter of calendar year 2019, by 4,976,570, the revised total 2019 MA days for all facilities, as reported for the NF Assessment for the third quarter of calendar year 2019, to obtain an NF specific quotient. Each NF’s quotient is multiplied by $198,000,000 to determine its payment amount.
  • ARPA NF Payment #2 – Licensed NF Beds
    • The total funds available for a one-time payment to Non-Public and County NFs pursuant to Act 24 (ARPA NF Payment #2) is $49,000,000. Each facility’s ARPA NF Payment #2 is calculated by dividing the facility’s licensed NF beds as of March 31, 2020 by all licensed Non-Public and County NF beds as of March 31, 2020 to obtain an NF specific quotient. Each NF’s quotient is multiplied by $49,000,000 to determine its payment amount.

NFs enrolled in MA do not need to submit requests for funding. All NFs enrolled in MA will receive the funding, provided they meet the criteria described above. OLTL will distribute the funding as a one-time gross adjustment. NFs enrolled in MA can expect to see the payment appear as a gross adjustment transaction/lump sum payment on the PROMISe remittance advice dated September 6, 2021, with payment occurring September 15, 2021.

NFs not enrolled in MA must complete the Facility Acceptance Form and return it by October 15, 2021, to DHS. Providers may also fax the completed form to the OLTL Bureau of Finance at 717-787-2145. Checks will be issued and mailed in the order in which DHS receives Facility Acceptance Forms.

PCH/ALR Payments

  • ARPA PCH/ALR Payment #1 – Licensed Occupancy
    • The total funds available for a one-time ARPA payment to PCHs and ALRs pursuant to Act 24 (ARPA PCH/ALR Payment #1) is $27,000,000. Each PCH/ALR Payment #1 is calculated by dividing the licensed occupancy of the PCH or ALR, as determined by the most recent DHS inspection on or before April 1, 2020, by the total licensed occupancy of all PCHs and ALRs, including those with a special care designation, as determined by the most recent DHS inspection on or before April 1, 2020, to obtain a facility-specific quotient for each PCH and ALR. Each facility’s quotient is multiplied by $27,000,000 to determine its payment amount.
  • ARPA PCH/ALR Payment #2 – Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Residents Served
    • The total funds available for a one-time ARPA payment to PCHs and ALRs pursuant to Act 24 (ARPA PCH/ALR Payment #2) is $3,000,000. Each ARPA PCH/ALR Payment #2 is calculated by dividing the number of individuals for whom the PCH/ALR received a state SSI payment from DHS in March 2020 by the total of all PCH’s/ALR’s individuals for whom a state SSI payment was made in March 2020 to obtain a facility-specific quotient. Each PCH’s/ALR’s quotient is multiplied by $3,000,000 to determine its payment amount.

PCHs and ALRs must complete the Facility Acceptance Form and return it by October 15, 2021, to DHS. Providers may also fax the completed form to the OLTL Bureau of Finance at 717-787-2145. Checks will be issued and mailed in the order in which DHS receives the Facility Acceptance Forms. 

Act 24 of 2021 requires the ARPA funding to be obligated by December 31, 2024, and spent by December 31, 2026, or returned to the commonwealth. Additionally, these funds must be used for COVID-19 related expenses. Providers must keep documentation to prove that these funds were used for their response to the COVID-19 pandemic in case of an audit. Any person or entity accepting an ARPA payment agrees to provide documentation to DHS, upon request, for purposes of determining compliance with Act 24 requirements. Instructions on expenditure reporting will be provided at a later date.

DHS recommends that providers consult their accountants or attorneys for further clarification on acceptable uses of ARPA funding. DHS encourages providers to review guidance for eligible expenditures on the U.S. Department of the Treasury website in their Compliance and Reporting Guidance.

NFs that have questions about the information in this Listserv should contact the OLTL Provider Helpline at 800-932-0939.

PCHs and ALRs that have questions about the information in this Listserv should contact the Operator Support Hotline at 866-503-3926 or via email.