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OLTL

The Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) has announced the launch of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) Funding Reporting portal. The online portal will be available on September 30, 2022, for OLTL providers to submit costs associated with ARPA funding distributed in 2021 in order to comply with DHS reporting requirements.

Background: ARPA Funding Information 

In 2021, federal funding from ARPA was allocated by the General Assembly under Act 24 and enacted by Governor Wolf to provide funding to nursing facilities (NF), personal care homes (PCH), and assisted living residences (ALR). These ARPA funds should be used for COVID-19 relief for costs not otherwise reimbursed by federal, state, or other sources of funding.

In addition, ARPA provided a temporary 10 percent increase to the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) for certain Medicaid expenditures for home and community-based services (HCBS). The funding must be used to enhance, expand, or strengthen HCBS. OLTL outlined in its plan to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) initiatives to strengthen the workforce and assist Adult Day Services (ADS) providers. The OLTL ARPA plan directed funding to Personal Assistance Service (PAS), Community Integration (CI), and Residential Habilitation (Res Hab) providers to assist with recruitment and retention of direct care workers. The plan also directed additional funding to providers to strengthen ADS.

ARPA funding must be used for things such as sign-on bonuses, retention payments, COVID-19 related leave benefits and paid time off, vaccination incentives, and/or the purchase of personal protective equipment and testing supplies. Additionally, ADS providers can use the funding for retrofitting adult daily living centers, expenses to re-open the centers, and expenses to develop alternative models to provide ADS.

Additional detailed information about the distribution of the 2021 ARPA funding can be found on the DHS Long-Term Care Providers web page.

ARPA Funding Reporting Portal
Effective September 30, 2022, providers can access the portal and begin to report ARPA 2021 costs. Providers can access the portal through the Funding Portal Login web page. The first report due date will be November 30, 2022, and should reflect two reporting periods. Providers are required to submit reports in the portal on a bi-annual basis thereafter according to their exhaustion of the funds. Please reference the chart below.

Report Period 

Due Dates 

07/01/2021 – 12/31/2021

01/01/2022 – 06/30/2022

11/30/2022
07/01/2022 – 12/31/2022 2/28/2023
 01/01/2023 – 6/30/2023 8/30/2023
 07/01/2023 – 12/31/2023 2/28/2024

Providers must keep all documentation related to the costs reported in the final cost report for a minimum of five years.

The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) will conduct a Financial Management Services (FMS) stakeholder webinar on October 7, 2022, from 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm. This public meeting will be to discuss upcoming changes for the administration of FMS under the Community HealthChoices (CHC), OBRA Waiver, and Act 150 programs. Representatives from the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) and CHC Managed Care Organizations will be in attendance to discuss upcoming changes. Registration is required to participate in the webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

If you choose to use your phone to call in, please use the numbers below:

Dial in: (631) 992-3221
Access Code: 988871316#
Audio PIN: shown after joining the webinar

Registration is now open for the October 4, 2022, Managed Long-Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) Subcommittee meeting. The meeting will be held in person and will also offer participation via webinar. The meeting will take place at the PA Department of Education’s Honors Suite, 333 Market Street in Harrisburg, from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.

Public comments will be taken after each presentation. Questions can be entered into the chat box during the presentations, and these questions will be asked at the end of each presentation. There will be an additional period at the end of the meeting for any additional public comments. If participants have any concerns about alternative methods for submitting questions or comments during a subcommittee meeting, including options when no internet access is available, please email DHS.

The Department of Human Services (DHS), Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) is using technology that allows individuals to participate in the webinar and listen through computer speakers instead of participating by dial-in. Dial-in will still be available if you do not choose to participate by webinar, but the number is no longer toll free.

To participate in the meeting via webinar, please register by visiting this link. We encourage those participating by webinar to register early. When registering, please verify that you entered your email address correctly. You will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar if you registered correctly.

Dial-In Number: (914) 614-3221
Access Code: 803310710#

Remote Captioning and Streaming Link

ODP Announcement 22-100 is to announce the release of the Home and Community-Based Services Rule and Pennsylvania’s Statewide Transition plan webcast. The recording of this presentation is now available.

Pennsylvania’s Final Statewide Transition Plan and information about how to provide public comment, including during webinars specific to the Office of Child Development and Early Learning, Office of Developmental Programs, and Office of Long-Term Living, are available at the DHS website.

On August 22, 2022, the Department of Human Services (DHS) announced the availability of Pennsylvania’s Final Statewide Transition Plan (STP) for the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Rule for a 30-day public comment period. The announcement contained plans for DHS to record a presentation providing a general overview of the HCBS Rule and Pennsylvania’s Final Statewide Transition Plan to prepare stakeholders for public comment. The recording of this presentation is now available on the Home and Community-Based Services Statewide Transition Plan web page.

Pennsylvania’s Final Statewide Transition Plan and information about how to provide public comment, including during webinars specific to the Office of Child Development and Early Learning, Office of Developmental Programs, and Office of Long-Term Living, are also available on the HCBS STP web page.

The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) has released a communication that provides clarification to Act 150 Service Coordination entities on the Act 150 to Community HealthChoices (CHC) Waiver Transfer procedure. This procedure outlines the steps the Act 150 Service Coordinator (SC) should take once the participant has been confirmed nursing facility clinically eligible (NFCE), and a financial eligibility determination is needed to confirm if the participant is to transfer to the CHC Waiver.

As detailed in the Act 150 Guidelines, the reevaluation process is to be conducted at least once each year within 365 days of the first level of care determination and each subsequent year.

Additional questions should be sent to OLTL’s Division of Fee for Service Operations electronically.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) announced they will be accepting comments on Pennsylvania’s Final Statewide Transition Plan (STP) for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS). This plan applies to Medicaid Waivers under the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL), Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), and Office of Child Development & Early Learning (OCDEL). The notice is below and includes additional information about upcoming webinars.

HCBS Settings Rule – Background

CMS published the HCBS Rule, which amends the Medicaid regulations for HCBS waivers under section 1915(c) of the Social Security Act. The HCBS Rule supports enhanced quality of programs and services and adds protections for individuals receiving services. The HCBS Rule reflects CMS’ intent to ensure all individuals receiving services and supports through Medicaid waivers have full access to the benefits of community living, including receiving services in the most integrated setting. The HCBS Rule includes a provision requiring states to develop a transition plan to ensure that services will meet federal requirements by March 2023.

Statewide Transition Plan

The Department received initial approval of its STP on August 30, 2016, which can be accessed at the Department’s HCBS Stakeholder Waiver and Planning Team web page.

To receive final approval of Pennsylvania’s STP, the Department is required to complete the following remaining steps and submit an updated STP with this information included:

  • Complete a thorough, comprehensive site-specific assessment of all HCBS settings, implement necessary strategies for validating the assessment results, and include the outcomes of this assessment within the STP;
  • Draft remediation strategies and a corresponding timeline that will resolve issues that the site-specific settings assessment process and subsequent validation strategies uncovered by the end of the HCBS rule transition period (March 17, 2023);
  • Outline a detailed plan for identifying settings that are presumed to have institutional characteristics, including qualities that isolate HCBS beneficiaries, as well as the proposed process for evaluating these settings and preparing for submission to CMS for review under heightened scrutiny;
  • Develop a process for communicating with beneficiaries that are currently receiving services in settings that the state has determined cannot or will not come into compliance with the HCBS settings rule by March 17, 2023; and
  • Establish ongoing monitoring and quality assurance processes that will ensure all settings providing HCBS continue to remain fully compliant with the rule in the future.

This information is included in Pennsylvania’s Final STP for public comment. A presentation providing a general overview of the HCBS Rule and Pennsylvania’s Final STP will be recorded by the Department and posted by the end of August to prepare stakeholders for public comment. Information about where to access the presentation will be published when it is available.

As outlined in the public comment section below, the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), and Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) will each hold webinars to go over information in Pennsylvania’s STP that is specific to their waivers and programs. Public comment will be accepted during each of these webinars.

Public Comment

Pennsylvania’s Final STP is available for a 30-day public comment period at the Department’s HCBS STP web page. Comments will be accepted no later than 11:59 pm on September 22, 2022. Stakeholders may provide public comment through one of the following methods:

  1. Electronic comments submitted via email
    1. Stakeholders are asked to use the subject header “PA Final STP” and submit comments to this mailbox.
  2. Written comments submitted via mail
    1. Mailing address: Department of Human Services, Office of the Secretary, P. O. Box 2675, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2675.
  3. Verbal and written comments during public comment webinars
    1. The following dates and times below are for stakeholders to participate in the public comment webinars:
      1. Webinar Specific to STP Information for OCDEL
        September 12, 2022
        9:00 am – 10:00 am
        Please register for the webinar via email.
      2. Webinars Specific to STP Information for ODP
        September 8, 2022
        10:00 am – 12:00 pm
        Please register for the webinar.
        September 12, 2022
        1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
        Please register for the webinar.
      3. Webinar Specific to STP Information for OLTL
        September 15, 2022
        2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
        Please register for the webinar.

When submitting electronic or written comments, it is recommended that you include the following information:

  • The page number or Appendix where the information you are commenting on is located; and
  • Which office (OCDEL, ODP, or OLTL) the comment applies to, if applicable.

The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) issued the following notice regarding the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) one-time payments for personal care homes (PCH) and Assisted Living Residences (ALR):

Background Info:

Governor Wolf signed Act 54 of 2022, which allocates $26.767 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 July 1, 2022.

These one-time ARPA funds must be used for COVID-19 related costs not otherwise reimbursed by federal, state, or other sources of funding. OLTL will send a letter with details about the payments, including information about the approved use of and reporting on these funds. An Act 54 Facility Acceptance Form must be completed by September 2, 2022.

Additional information on Act 54, payment amounts and approved use of this funding will be available at the DHS Long-Term Care Providers page.

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 54 (ARPA PCH/ALR Payment #1) is $24,090,000. Each PCH/ALR Payment #1 is calculated by the dividing the census of the PCH or ALR, as determined by the most recent DHS inspection on or before July 1, 2022, by the total census of all PCHs and ALRs, including those with a special care designation, as determined by the most recent DHS inspection on or before July 1, 2022, to obtain a facility-specific quotient for each PCH and ALR. Each facility’s quotient is multiplied by $24,090,000 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 54 (ARPA PCH/ALR Payment #2) is $2,677,000. Each ARPA PCH/ALR Payment #2 is calculated by dividing the number of individuals for whom the PCH/ALR received a state SSI payment as in March 2022, divided by the total of all PCH’s/ALR’s individuals for whom a state SSI payment was made in March 2022, to obtain a facility-specific quotient. Each PCH’s/ALR’s quotient is multiplied by $2,677,000 to determine its payment amount.

PCHs and ALRs must complete the Facility Acceptance Form by August 26, 2022. Checks will be issued and mailed in the order in which DHS receives the Facility Acceptance Forms.

Act 54 of 2022 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.

The Department of Human Services (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.

Any questions about this information or the Facility Acceptance Form should be sent to PW, OLTL COVID Payments.

The following documents from the August 3, 2022, Managed Long-Term Services and Supports (MLTSS) Subcommittee meeting are now available:

The next MLTSS Subcommittee is scheduled for September 7, 2022, from 10:00 am — 1:00 pm. The meeting will be held in person in the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Honors Suite, 1st floor, at 333 Market Street Tower in Harrisburg as well as via webinar. To register to participate via webinar, please visit this webinar registration link. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.