Tags Posts tagged with "DHS"


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Immediate Action Required

Dear Lifesharing Provider Agencies:

The Department of Human Services has established a pharmacy partnership to make COVID-19 vaccines available to individuals and caregivers who live and work in Chapter 6500 Lifesharing Homes.

It is critical that each Lifesharing Agency submit the information requested on this spreadsheet and return it to the Department no later than 5:00 pm on Thursday, February 18, 2021.

To enter information, save a copy of the spreadsheet and use the filter button at the top of the column to show only your agency.  Complete the requested information for each home operated by your agency, save the sheet, and send it via email.

If you are not serving any individuals in the home, you do not have to enter information in columns H – O.

Please complete columns I – O even if you are already working with a vaccine provider.

The “Agency Contact Person for Vaccine Arrangements” must be a person from the Lifesharing Agency, not a host home provider.

Please contact send an email with any questions you may have.


Today, the Department of Human Services (DHS) is launching an online portal (called the DHS CARES Act Funding Tracking Tool) for Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) providers to submit final costs in compliance with Act 24 of 2020 (CARES Act funding). DHS is requesting that providers complete the COVID-19 Act 24 cost reporting form and upload it through the online portal. Providers must keep all documentation related to the costs reported in the final cost report for a minimum of five years. The due date for the submission of the required final report has been extended to December 31, 2020.

To assist providers, DHS has provided the following guidance and tips:

  • Username and Password Credentials
    • If you are a new user, you will receive two emails from PW, Unified Security inbox The first email will contain your username. The second email will contain your temporary password for first-time sign in.
    • If you have an existing Commonwealth Business Partner account (“b-” ID), you will receive a username reminder email tomorrow. Please use this username to login to the tool.
  • Updating Provider Contact
    • If you will not be completing the final report for your organization and would like to change the user associated, please complete the DHS COVID Tracking – User Change Request form to start the process to set up their credentials. Note that this process may take a few business days.
  • Attestation
    • When completing the report for your entity, an attestation is required. The attestation language is as follows: I, [ENTER NAME OF PERSON WITH THE AUTHORITY TO SIGN ON BEHALF OF THE LEGAL ENTITY BELOW], certify, subject to the terms and penalties of 18 Pa. C.S. §4904 (relating to unsworn falsification to authorities), that the information contained in the forgoing Act 24 Cost Reporting Form is true and correct to the best of my knowledge following reasonable investigation, that the entity that I represent was in operation as of March 31, 2020, as required by Act 24 of 2020; and that the Act 24 of 2020 funds were used to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic and reimburse health-care-related expenses or lost revenues attributable to the coronavirus pandemic; and that the Act 24 of 2020 funds were not used for expenses or losses that have been or will be reimbursed from other sources.
  • Final Report Template
    • Providers are required to upload the completed Excel template when completing the final report in the online portal.
  • Online Portal Training and Support
    • Providers will receive a detailed DHS CARES Act Funding Tracking Tool Final Report User Guide with frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the launch date to help you navigate the new tool, answer any questions you may have, and provide troubleshooting information on browsers and passwords.
  • Act 24 of 2020 Information
    • Governor Wolf signed Act 24 of 2020, which allocates funding from the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act – also known as the CARES Act – to assist providers with COVID-19 related costs. Funding from Act 24 must be used to cover necessary COVID-19 related costs incurred between March 1, 2020 and November 30, 2020 that have not been otherwise reimbursed by federal, state, or other sources of funding. To qualify for the one-time payment, a person or entity must have been in operation as of March 31, 2020. Under Act 24, $457 millionof COVID-19 relief funds were allocated to providers in OLTL programs.
    • Any person or entity accepting a COVID-19 payment must provide documentation to DHS, upon request, for purposes of determining compliance with Act 24 requirements. Providers were previously advised to keep documentation to demonstrate how the funds were used for a response to the COVID-19 pandemic in case of an audit.
    • Providers are advised to review guidance such as the following for eligible COVID-19 costs on the US Department of Treasury website:  Coronavirus-Relief-Fund-Guidance and Coronavirus-Relief-Fund-Frequently-Asked-Questions. DHS guidance is also available in DHS Frequently Asked Questions.

Please Note: if you received a payment under Act 24 of 2020 from more than one Pennsylvania DHS program office, you may receive this notification more than once. However, you will only receive one login to the online portal and will be able to submit for all program offices and facilities at the same time. 


The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) has shared information to help providers who received Act 24 funds identify areas of allowable costs prior to November 30. The PA Emergency COVID-19 Response Funds FAQ has been updated as of November 9, 2020.

On May 29, 2020, Governor Wolf signed Act 24 of 2020, which allocates funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act – also known as the CARES Act – to assist providers with COVID-19 related costs. Act 24 Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) can be used to cover necessary COVID-19 related costs that were incurred between March 1, 2020 and November 30, 2020 and that have not been otherwise reimbursed by Federal, State, or other sources of funding.

There are two criteria to determine if a cost is an allowable CRF cost per Act 24 and the US Treasury Guidance:

  1. The cost was incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) between March 1 and November 30, 2020; and
  2. The cost is related to the COVID‐19 PHE.

If both of these criteria are met, and the cost was not included in the entity’s most recently authorized budget as a usual business expense, it is an allowable CRF expense.

Examples of allowable expenses include but are not limited to the following:

  • Payroll expenses, including salaries and benefits, hazard pay, and overtime costs of an employee whose time is substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 PHE;
  • Supplies used to provide health care services for possible or actual COVID-19 patients;
  • Equipment used to provide health care services for possible or actual COVID-19 patients;
  • Workforce training as it relates to COVID-19;
  • Developing and staffing emergency operation centers;
  • Reporting COVID-19 test results to federal, state, or local governments;
  • Lease or purchase of medical supplies and equipment, personal protective equipment, and COVID-19 testing supplies;
  • Reconfiguring an existing facility or constructing temporary structures to expand capacity for COVID-19 patient care or to provide health care services to non-COVID-19 patients in a separate area from where COVID-19 patients are being treated;
  • Housekeeping supplies and the disinfection of buildings, public areas, and other facilities used for providing services to consumers;
  • Acquiring additional resources, including facilities, equipment, supplies, health care practices, staffing, and technology to expand or preserve care delivery;
  • IT related costs such as need hardware and software purchase and telecommuting costs;
  • Administrative expenses that represent an increase over previously budgeted amounts and are limited in what is necessary; and
  • Revenue losses for non-public entities that are attributable to coronavirus. NOTE: Public entities, such as county nursing facilities, cannot include revenue losses attributable to coronavirus.

The US Treasury Guidance, the Coronavirus Relief Fund FAQs, the Department of Human Services (DHS) Emergency Relief Funds FAQs, and the Act 24 Cost Report Template are good resources for understanding eligible expenses. As a reminder, entities who received Act 24 CRF have until November 30, 2020 to spend their Act 24 CRF. Any unspent Act 24 funds as of November 30, 2020 must be returned to DHS.  While costs must generally be incurred by November 30 under Act 24, please reference the US Treasury Guidance section that discusses costs incurred verses funds expended to cover the cost for leased and bulk purchases of supplies, such as personal protective equipment, for additional flexibility.

Please contact Rick Smith if you have questions or concerns.

Your input matters! The Department of Human Services (DHS) and other stakeholders are working on suggestions to improve Pennsylvania’s Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP). Whether you use the program now or are eligible to use the program to get to your medical appointments, we welcome your feedback.

We invite you to attend one of the following three online sessions. You will hear more about the suggestions and have the chance to ask questions and give us your thoughts.

  • Option 1: Tuesday, November 17 from 6:00-7:30 pm. (Register here);
  • Option 2: Wednesday, November 18 from 1:00-2:30 pm. (Register here); or
  • Option 3: Friday, November 20 from 10:00-11:30 am. (Register here)

There are two ways to attend a session. You will receive more information closer to the date.

  1. Download and use the GoToWebinar software on your computer, tablet, or smart phone (video is not required).
  2. Call with a landline or cell phone (you can listen to the session but not ask questions if calling directly from a landline or cell phone).

If you have questions about these sessions, please submit them here. Thank you for considering this opportunity to provide your opinion. We look forward to hearing from you.

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As a result of the many Community HealthChoices (CHC) stakeholder events, the Department of Human Services (DHS) has added frequently asked questions (FAQ) documents to the CHC website for providers and participants.

To assist stakeholders in finding answers to questions more quickly, DHS recently consolidated all FAQs into a single CHC Questions and Answers document. This new document is in a searchable pdf format and contains a table of contents that allows the user to easily move to different sections within the document.

For more information, visit the DHS CHC web page.