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House Resolution 212 (2021), which was adopted June 29, 2022, created a legislative task force on services provided to individuals with intellectual disability, developmental disability, and autism. It directed the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study on the impact of the Commonwealth’s current needs and system capacity for providing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disability, developmental disability, and autism.

The Commission was further directed to establish an advisory committee to assist in its study. The advisory committee included representatives from the Commonwealth agencies, who were charged with the responsibility of overseeing these services, namely the Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) and the Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR). Other representatives included individuals and family members of individuals who are receiving home and community-based services or who are on waiting lists for services. Service providers, advocates, self-advocates, a physician, and a representative of the Pennsylvania Association of County Administrators of Mental Health and Developmental Services, as well as other interested persons, were also on the advisory committee. Richard Edley, President and CEO of RCPA, and several RCPA members served on this committee.

The committee has completed their work, resulting in their finalized report and one-page summary.

Thursday, March 21, 2024
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm ET
Register for the Meeting

The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) will host a virtual meeting for its members to address issues surrounding home and community-based services (HCBS) to be examined in the Committee’s Report to the President. All the PCPID meetings, in any format, are open to the public. This virtual meeting will be conducted in a discussion format with committee members addressing the issues and recommendations identified by PCPID work groups proposing to be incorporated in the PCPID Report to the President. View more details published in the Federal Register notice.

For further information, please email ACL.

This meeting will include CART and American Sign Language (ASL) services. If there are additional reasonable accommodation requests, please contact J. Welborn and Sensis Agency by Thursday, March 7.

Stakeholder input is very important to the PCPID. Comments and suggestions, especially from people with intellectual disabilities, are welcomed. If there are comments related to HCBS or other areas that you would like to inform the PCPID, please share them through the PCPID comment form. Comments received by March 12 will be shared with the PCPID at the March 21 meeting.

About the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
Initially established in 1966 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the PCPID advises the president and the secretary of health and human services on a broad range of topics that impact people with intellectual disabilities, as well as the professional fields that support people with intellectual disabilities and their families. Its goal is to improve the quality of life experienced by people with intellectual disabilities by upholding their full citizenship rights, independence, self-determination, and lifelong participation in their communities.

RCPA is happy to share highlights of Governor Shapiro’s proposed budget that recognizes the needs of the ID/A community in a way that Pennsylvanians have not seen for many years.

Governor Shapiro is prioritizing investments in home and community-based service providers so that they can pay competitive rates to attract and retain staff who provide these life-changing services to Pennsylvanians. The governor is proposing an increase in reimbursement rates by 12%, which will invest a total of over $480 million. This will be divided by state ($217 million) and federal ($266 million) funding for programs that support ID/A.

This budget will invest $34.2 million in the Community Waiver and $1.85 million in the Community Base Program, which will allow the Department of Human Services (DHS) to expand the number of individuals participating in home and community-based services programs.

The 2024/25 executive budget invests $213 million toward the Community Waiver Program, $2.1 million in the Autism Intervention Program, and $1.1 million in the Community Base program. It also leverages $266 million in total federal funding to increase resources for providers of home and community-based services.

In addition, this budget invests $934,000 to add American Sign Language and English interpreter services to programs serving those who require these services in order to experience equality in communication.

In response to this announcement, Richard Edley, PhD, President and CEO of RCPA, stated, “Governor Shapiro is really living up to his mandate to ‘get stuff done!’ The disability community has waited decades for a governor that would make systemic fixes a key budget issue, and the day has finally come. This may not solve all the issues that nearly destroyed this critical system of care and support, but it’s a start, which is more than we’ve had in quite some time.”

Read the summary of Governor Shapiro’s proposed budget plan for ID/A services. RCPA will be sharing more analysis of the budget when additional information is released.

On December 29, 2023, the Department of Human Services (DHS) issued to the CHC-MCOs a revised edition of “Operations Memo (#2019-05): Circumstances When Community Health Choices (CHC)-Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) Must Transmit the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Eligibility/Ineligibility/Change Form (PA 1768).” The PA 1768 (included in the Operations Memo) is used to notify the County Assistance Office (CAO) when a CHC participant is determined clinically eligible for CHC HCBS or when a CHC participant, who is receiving HCBS, experiences a change affecting his or her eligibility for HCBS.

This revised operations memo describes situations where the CHC-MCO sends the PA 1768 to the CAO. The memo has also been revised to include Money Follows the Person (MFP) information to communicate on the PA 1768 (Attachment 8), and to update a participant letter (Attachment 4: CHC HCBS Termination Letter (No Response).

If you have any questions, please contact Melissa Dehoff.

On January 10, 2024, from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm, the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) will be conducting an upcoming webinar that will focus on Person-Centered Service Planning (PCSP) in Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS): Requirements and Best Practices.

The webinar will include the following:

  • An overview of person-centered service planning;
  • A detailed discussion of the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) regulations pertaining to person-centered service plans provisions;
  • A detailed review of themes identified during CMS heightened scrutiny site visits regarding person-centered service plans;
  • Measures included in the 2022 HCBS Quality Measure Set that can be used to assess person-centered planning;
  • Section 9817 of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and state examples to support person-centered service planning;
  • Strategies to ensure comprehensive understanding and implementation of person-centered service plans; and
  • Indiana’s approach to person-centered planning.

Following the presentation, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Register here to participate in the webinar.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released two reports focused on Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS). The reports are the Medicaid Long-Term Services and Supports Annual Expenditures Report, Federal Fiscal Year 2020, and the Medicaid Section 1915 (c) Waiver Programs Annual Expenditures and Beneficiaries Report.

These reports provide information on the LTSS rebalancing trends and patterns in expenditures for different home and community-based services (HCBS) and institutional care, both nationally and across states.

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, the Chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, will be introducing new legislation on the floor of Senate titled “The Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Relief Act of 2023.”

The HCBS Relief Act of 2023 would provide dedicated Medicaid funds to states for two years to stabilize their HCBS service delivery networks, recruit and retain HCBS direct care workers, and meet the long-term service and support needs of people eligible for Medicaid home and community-based services. States would receive a 10-point increase in the federal match (FMAP) for Medicaid for two fiscal years to enhance HCBS. Funds could be used to increase direct care worker pay, provide benefits such as paid family leave or sick leave, and pay for transportation expenses to and from the homes of those being served. The additional funds also can be used to support family caregivers, pay for recruitment and training of additional direct care workers, and pay for technology to facilitate services. The funds can help decrease or eliminate the waiting lists for HCBS in the states.

The HCBS Relief Act of 2023 will be introduced during the fourth week of October with a House companion bill expected to be released in the near future. Please join RCPA in supporting this critical piece of legislation to create a viable and sustainable pathway for HCBS.

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