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Information Sharing and Advisory Committee

The ISAC Committee met today and the Deputy Secretary and Dr. Cherpes provided an update.

Deputy Secretary Ahrens shared that the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) budget request items were in fact included in the state budget. This includes an initiative to address the waiting list through the addition of 732 Community Living Waiver and 100 Consolidated Waiver placements for emergencies.

The incentive program for providers to transition individuals from group homes to Lifesharing or Supported Living is also included. ODP is working on developing the details of this initiative, which is expected to be implemented in January 2022.

The plan for the American Rescue Plan funds is still being developed by the Department of Human Services (DHS). They have been in discussions with Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to determine the parameters.

The temporarily increased rates for CPS and Transportation Trip will continue to be in effect.  Individuals may exceed their waiver caps, and no one should lose a single unit of service through the pandemic. This is approved by CMS in Appendix K.

Appendix K is approved based upon the federal public health emergency (PHE), which has recently been extended and is likely to be extended again. Appendix K can be in place for 6 months after the PHE has ended. Therefore, Appendix K will be in effect at least until March of 2022, likely though to June.

ODP shared the results of the recent CPS survey that was completed. Providers should keep in mind that individuals cannot be denied services due to their inability or unwillingness to wear a mask.  This would be considered an ADA accommodation.

Julie Mochon provided an update on the Home and Community-Based Settings rule and Pennsylvania’s plan to meet the expectations from CMS.

Leah Sheffield presented an update about ISAC Recommendation #1 — Assure Effective Communication and shared that ODP intends to make changes to this service definition in the new waiver renewals. Ron Melusky also provided information on Self Direction in services.

  • Heidi Arva presented an update on efforts for Children with Medical Complexities.
  • Secretary Miller discussed the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Racial Equity Report.
  • Cherpes presented an update regarding ISAC Recommendation #5, Promote Health, Wellness, and Safety, and Recommendation #6, Support People with Complex Needs.
  • Additional handout, Best Practice Standards in Behavioral Support, was shared.
  • A COVID-19 Update was provided as well by Kristin Ahrens and Dr. Cherpes

ODP Announcement 19-011 is to inform interested stakeholders that the 2018 Everyday Lives: Values in Action – Information Sharing and Advisory Committee (ISAC) Recommendations, Strategies, and Performance Measures booklet is available online at MyODP.org.

Everyday Lives: Values in Action, developed by the PA Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) Information Sharing and Advisory Committee (ISAC), included 13 recommendations to achieve the vision in Everyday Lives. ISAC members, working together as ODP’s Stakeholder Quality Council, followed up on the 2016 publication’s recommendations, strategies, and performance measures to guide ODP and gauge its progress in achieving the important goals put forth in Everyday Lives. These strategies and recommendations developed by the ISAC are intended to serve as a guide for everyone engaged in developing, providing, and advocating for services in the ODP system: individuals with an intellectual disability or autism, their families, administrative entities, support coordination agencies, providers, advocacy organizations, local quality councils, and all entities involved on the ISAC.

Many of the recommendations and strategies have already been incorporated in draft waiver applications, regulations, policies, the Supporting Families Collaborative, employment initiatives, and training. Each of the recommendations represents what is important to people with disabilities and their families and should guide the work of everyone in the system.

The ISAC will continue to serve as the entity that provides sustained, shared leadership and a platform for collaborative strategic thinking for the ODP system. Strategies will continue to evolve as counties, support coordinators, service providers, advocates, and others work in partnership to improve services.

Contact Carol Ferenz, RCPA IDD Division Director, with any questions.

The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) announced that there is now a hub for the Information Sharing and Advisory Committee (ISAC) on the MyODP Training and Resource Center online. ISAC is composed of stakeholders in the IDD system who come together to share information to and from ODP and to advise the Deputy about issues important to our stakeholders. ISAC members are expected to come with information from the group they represent and to share information form ODP learned at ISAC with their group. In order to enhance communication, ODP has created the ISAC hub.

To view the ISAC hub, you may create a MyODP account, or log in as a guest if you do not have an account. Currently, a calendar of scheduled meetings, agenda and topic items from the April 11, 2018 meeting, a folder for previous meeting materials, and the Everyday Lives booklet and recommendations are posted on the hub. Agenda items and presentation materials will continue to be posted for future ISAC meetings. Some materials may be limited to ISAC members only. View the ODP Announcement regarding the hub here.