Tags Posts tagged with "Deadline"


Deadline, as Letters on a Clock

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) has issued a notice to all residential providers that have yet to complete the required survey:

Providers rendering residential services (residential habilitation, lifesharing, and/or supported living) funded through ODP are required to complete this survey by the extension date of November 17, 2023.

Additional information can be found in the communication, ODPANN 23-080: Office of Developmental Programs’ Residential Provider Survey for Selective Contracting. Questions may be directed via email to ODP.

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) shared the reissued communication Invitation to Apply for the Capacity Building Institute Year 7 (CBI7). The last day to submit an interest survey to join the Year 7 Cohort is now June 23, 2023.

Each person must complete the CBI Year 7 Interest Survey by June 23, 2023, in order to express interest and confirm their ability to attend all sessions. There are a limited number of spaces available for participants. All applicants will be notified through email in mid-July as to their admission status.

Please review the communication for additional information relating to cost and attendance.

OMHSAS Approves RCPA Telehealth Extension Request
Deadline for Consent/Service Verification Compliance Now March 31, 2023

In an effort to assist provider members in their efforts toward consent and service verification compliance, RCPA requested an extension of the December 31, 2022, deadline. RCPA outlined ongoing challenges towards meeting these standards that included integrating new platforms into existing infrastructure, funding, training, and internal process changes.

Yesterday, we met with the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) to outline these concerns and review provider progress towards compliance. In response, OMHSAS has agreed to extend the date for meeting the consent and service verification standards to March 31, 2023. Funding concerns, especially in the middle of a budget year, were also discussed, and OMHSAS will make available funds to aid providers in implementing these practices.

As part of the RCPA Telehealth Work Group meeting at 10:00 am on Tuesday, December 20, 2022, we will be covering this and other telehealth topics on the agenda. These include our hope to conduct online polling on specific telehealth issues. You can register for the meeting here. Additionally, the second half of the meeting will feature OMHSAS Policy Director Jenna Mehnert Baker, who will provide updates, guidance, and a Q&A. We hope you are able to join us for this call, as your participation in the meeting will provide up-to-date information on your efforts and information that will assist RCPA in our collective endeavors.

We are grateful for the collaboration with OMHSAS and their willingness to extend the compliance timeframe. RCPA is committed to working with providers to ensure telehealth services remain a viable part of the service delivery continuum.

Please forward all questions you may have for OMHSAS to RCPA Policy Director Jim Sharp.

Read the OMHSAS response from Dr. Dale Adair below:

The purpose of this communication is to address concerns expressed by RCPA specific to the impact of ending OMHSAS’ bulletin suspensions on 12/31/22. There appears to be a significant amount of concern about providers’ ability to have telehealth platforms in place by 01/01/2023. Just to clarify, at no point has OMHSAS stated that providers must have HIPAA-compliant platforms in place by January 2023? It is important to note that the Pennsylvania General Assembly has defined telebehavioral health to specifically include platforms. Act 76 of 2022 defined: “Telebehavioral health technology. (i) Any of the following:(i)  Real-time interactive audio and video communication using technology that conforms to industry-wide standards and is in compliance with Federal and State privacy and security laws.(ii)  Real-time interactive audio-only telecommunication, provided that the use of audio-only telecommunication technology is consistent with Federal and State laws, guidance and requirements.(2)  The term does not include technology solely using voicemail, electronic mail messages, facsimile transmissions or instant messaging, or a combination thereof.”

OMHSAS Memorandum dated February 18, 2021, that temporarily suspended portions of bulletins and other guidance documents, stated that “verbal consent must be documented at the time of service, and providers are strongly encouraged to obtain electronic signatures when possible.” This language allowed verbal consent without a second witness during the public health emergency. At that time, OMHSAS also stressed the need for providers to acquire platforms capable of securing electronic signatures. Given OMHSAS’ previous recommendation, providers have had nearly two years to secure a platform capable of securing electronic signatures for consent and service verification. DHS is intending to provide a funding opportunity for providers per the approved HCBS spending plan. OMHSAS continues to look for additional ways to support compliance with the expectations of the Pennsylvania Act 69 of 1999 (Electronic Transactions Act).

It remains imperative for all entities delivering MA funded behavioral health services to have policies in place to capture consent in a way that creates an auditable trail. There are multiple ways that providers of telebehavioral health can meet this requirement including messages typed into the chat box of an audiovisual platform, email, text messaging, USPS mail and two-person verification of a verbal consent secured over the phone. Given the options available to providers and the fact that since 02/2021 OMHSAS has stressed the importance of developing appropriate systems to capture electronic signatures, OMHSAS asks that providers meet federal and state expectations. Understanding the challenges providers are experiencing, OMHSAS will extend the bulletin suspension specific to consent to treat, service verifications and treatment plans only that is scheduled to end on 12/31/2022 until 3/31/23. Effective on April 1, 2023, providers are expected to capture consent to treat, service verifications and approval of treatment plans in a manner that creates an auditable file and in accordance with the timelines expected within regulation. While we understand the operational challenges, waiving the requirement that consent and service verification are secured in a manner that would withstand an audit any longer than three additional months is simply not possible. We believe the definition created in Act 76 serves to govern the delivery of telebehavioral health in the Commonwealth moving forward.

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!