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OMHSAS PHE Updated Suspended Regulations

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) has updated their temporary suspension regulatory provisions. The temporary suspension of the specified regulatory provisions is an update from the original Public Health Emergency (PHE) Regulatory Suspensions from August 214, 2020 and is intended to support the health and safety efforts of the agencies and facilities by affording them the flexibility needed to focus on patient care in the most effective way possible. The suspension supports the continued and uninterrupted delivery of behavioral health services in the face of the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The regulatory suspensions announced here will remain in place while the Governor’s Disaster Proclamation remains in effect or such other time as DHS/OMHSAS directs.

It is important to note in this regulatory suspension memorandum has been re-issued to update signature requirements for treatment and service plans. The original memorandum issued on August 14, 2020, required that signatures of individuals be obtained for treatment and service plans that were created or updated during the disaster emergency declaration period within 60 days after the end of the disaster emergency declaration period. This updated memorandum removes the requirement to obtain signatures within 60 days after the end of the disaster emergency declaration period. Requirements for obtaining verbal consent and documentation of the verbal consent remain and must be included in the medical record for every occurrence of a new and updated treatment plan. Providers are strongly encouraged to obtain signatures electronically when possible.

  • A memorandum summarizing the regulatory suspensions
  • A chart with a detailed list of the regulatory provisions suspended

Any comments or questions regarding these suspensions should be directed to the phone numbers listed in the memorandum and below:

  • Central Field Office: 717-705-8395
  • Northeast Field Office: 570-963-4335
  • Southeast Field Office: 610-313-5844
  • Southwest Field Office: 412-565-5226