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pa department of human services

Department of Human Services Highlights Resources for Families Supporting People with an Intellectual Disability or Autism

(From DHS)

Harrisburg, PA (July 15, 2019) – The Department of Human Services’ (DHS) Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) today highlighted programs and services offered to families of individuals who have an intellectual disability or autism (ID/A). The nationally recognized approach, LifeCourse Framework, assists families to support their family member to live an everyday life.

“We are committed to helping individuals access opportunities to support their goals and dreams, and that includes helping their families understand how to help support them to live an everyday life,” said DHS Secretary Teresa Miller. “It is important to continue to review best practices for helping individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism. The LifeCourse approach is this best practice. LifeCourse is focused on planning for a good life throughout someone’s lifespan and supporting families.”

The LifeCourse Framework is an approach that focuses on the whole person and targets the needs of people at critical periods throughout their lifetime. There are a variety of planning tools created by the National Community of Practice to support people with using this approach. The core belief of the framework is all people have the right to live, love, work, play and pursue their life aspirations in their community. ODP has worked through regional collaboratives in the commonwealth to implement LifeCourse. Two organizations that support ODP’s work by supporting strong visions and high expectations for individuals and families for their everyday life are PA Family Network and Self-Advocates United as 1 (SAU1).

PA Family Network is a major element of Pennsylvania’s statewide strategy of supporting families of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. PA Family Network offers both workshops and one-on-one family mentoring. They also hold regular events to teach attendees the LifeCourse Framework. Upcoming workshops include:

  • July 18 – Bellefonte, Centre County
  • July 25 – Philadelphia, Philadelphia County
  • July 26 – Altoona, Blair County
  • July 30 – Honesdale, Wayne County
  • August 27 – Honesdale, Wayne County
  • September 17 – Meadville, Crawford County
  • October 15 – Marlin, Schuylkill County

Self–Advocates United as 1 manages the Self Advocacy Power Network for All (SAPNA), which is funded by ODP. SAPNA provides peer–to–peer targeted training and technical assistance to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to further self–advocacy. SAU1 also teaches LifeCourse Frameworks at various events. Upcoming dates include:

  • July 31 – Clarion, Clarion County
  • August 19 – Mercer, Mercer County
  • August 21 – Philadelphia, Philadelphia County
  • August 27 – Pittsburgh, Allegheny County
  • August 29 – Stroudsburg, Monroe County
  • September 9 – Erie, Erie County
  • September 10 – Warren, Warren County
  • September 13 – St. Mary’s, Elk County
  • September 17 – Greensburg, Westmoreland County
  • September 20 – Kittanning, Armstrong County
  • September 27 – DuBois, Clearfield County
  • October 17 – Butler, Butler County

The LifeCourse Framework training and events at both the PA Family Network and SAU1 are free, but registration is required through the organizations. For more information about PA Family Network’s workshops, visit here. For more information about SAU1’s events, visit here.

To learn more about the LifeCourse Framework, visit here.

To learn more about DHS’s Office of Developmental Programs, visit here.
MEDIA CONTACT: Erin James – 7174257606

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In response to commentators’ questions regarding the recently released Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) Regulations–Final; DHS has released the IBHS Preamble. The RCPA Children’s IBHS Work Group is reconvening the week of July 29, to provide a substantive review and a prepared response in advance of the IRRC public hearing on August 15, 2019.

Please note that any comments should be submitted to DHS prior to the 48-hour blackout period, which begins on Tuesday, August 13 at 10:00 am. Please provide IRRC with a copy of any comments submitted to DHS, and also copy RCPA Children’s Division Director Jim Sharp, by close of business on August 12.

Please contact Jim Sharp with questions, thoughts, or concerns.

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When Governor Wolf signed the FY 19/20 budget at the end of June, it included $2.5 Million for the Parent Pathways initiative, led by the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Department of Education (PDE). The Parent Pathways initiative is funded as a component of the DHS Cash Grants appropriation of $18.287 Million in FY 19/20.

Parent Pathways seeks to establish community-specific comprehensive models to support access to, and success in, post-secondary education and training for single parents. Specifically, the departments propose to invest in holistic models that address the needs of parents and children together and successfully leverage partnerships to offer sustainable solutions to the multiple barriers often facing families experiencing economic challenges.

Removing barriers to education empowers parents to pursue the skills needed for enriching, family-sustaining careers. Single parents, in particular, often face significant challenges around finances, housing, and child care that prevent them from accessing and successfully completing programs that could lift their family out of poverty, while also finding fulfillment in a meaningful career. Overcoming these barriers is often challenging for single-parent families on their own, but a network of support envisioned through the Parent Pathways model will create bridges to a life out of poverty that will shape families’ trajectories for years to come.

Next Steps
The departments are continuing to receive input on the initiative, explore our options for distributing the $2.5M implementation funding, and are developing a competitive Request for Application (RFA) to award Parent Pathway models later this calendar year. As previously shared, it is the plan to award grants in two phases for Parent Pathway models – 1) planning and development technical assistance and 2) implementation.

Prior to the release of the RFA, the departments will hold informational webinars for the public with more detailed information. In the meantime, we encourage interested parties to work with community partners, education institutions, and housing support entities to explore community-specific strategies to address the goals of Parent Pathways and meet the needs of single parents and their families in pursuit of post-secondary education.

Please visit this website for updates on the initiative and various resources available to assist you in community engagement and development. Contact Jim Sharp, RCPA Children’s Division Director, with questions.

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The Department of Human Services (DHS) has submitted the Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) final-form regulation. The Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) plans to meet and act on this regulation at a public meeting on Thursday, August 15, 2019, at 10:00 am. The agenda and any changes to the time or date of the meeting will be posted on the IRRC website.

Please note that any comments should be submitted to DHS prior to the 48-hour blackout period, which begins on Tuesday, August 13 at 10:00 am. Please provide IRRC with a copy of any comments submitted. Additionally, please copy RCPA Children’s Division Director, Jim Sharp, on any comments submitted to DHS by close of business on August 12.

The RCPA Children’s IBHS Work Group will provide a substantive review in advance of the public hearing. Please contact Jim Sharp with questions, thoughts, or concerns.

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The Department of Human Services (DHS) is offering training for all DHS licensed providers on completing a Plan of Correction (POC). In this training, they will focus on the elements needed for the foundation of an acceptable POC. It is strongly recommended that all facility staff involved in completing POCs attend. The training is free and will be conducted via live webinar. DHS will be offering the webinars on several different days, with morning and afternoon options, to try to accommodate as many busy schedules as possible. Each scheduled webinar will last approximately one hour. You only need to attend one webinar since the material covered will be the same in each session.

The dates for the webinars are as follows:

  • Tuesday, July 16, 9:30 am –10:30 am
  • Tuesday, July 16, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Wednesday, July 17, 10:30 am – 11:30 am
  • Wednesday, July 17, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
  • Tuesday, July 23, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • Wednesday, July 24, 10:30 am – 11:30 am
  • Wednesday, July 24, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
  • Thursday, July 25, 9:30 am – 10:30 am

Please use the following link to register for one of these sessions: Registration Survey

Once you have registered, a link to connect to the webinar training will be emailed to you. Spaces are limited and are offered on a first come, first served basis. If you are unable to attend one of these webinar sessions, DHS will be offering a similar training in a self-paced format in late July 2019. DHS will share additional information on how to access the self-paced training in the future.

If you have any questions, please contact RCPA Children’s Division Director Jim Sharp.

The Pennsylvania Health Access Network and Philadelphia Health Partnership, at the request of the Department of Human Services, along with the support of the University of Pittsburgh’s Medicaid Research Center, will host a series of listening sessions in the southeast region to understand the experiences of older adults and people with disabilities covered by Pennsylvania’s new Medicaid program, Community HealthChoices (CHC).

The listening sessions will be held as follows:

Tuesday, June 25, 2019: 10:00 am, at Delaware County Housing Authority (Delaware County)
Kinder Park Community Room: 1825 Constitution Avenue, Woodlyn, PA 19094

Wednesday, June 26, 2019: 10:00 am, at Aclamo Family Center (Montgomery County)
512 West Marshall Street, Norristown, PA 19401

Thursday, June 27, 2019: 10:15 am, at Brandywine Center (Chester County)
744 East Lincoln Highway, Coatesville, PA 19320

Friday, June 28, 2019: 10:15 am, at Congreso (Philadelphia)
2800 North American Street, Philadelphia, PA 19133

Friday, June 28, 2019: 2:45 pm, at South Philadelphia Library (Philadelphia)
1700 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19145

RSVP: 844-474-2643

OTHER INFORMATION: This is a free event. Light refreshments will be provided. Space is accessible. To request an interpreter or materials in Braille, please contact: jessica@pahealthaccess.org

A listserv has been established for ongoing updates on the CHC program. It is titled OLTL-COMMUNITY-HEALTHCHOICES, please visit the ListServ Archives page at http://listserv.dpw.state.pa.us to update or register your email address.

It is imperative that you notify the Office of Long-Term Living for changes that would affect your provider file, such as addresses and telephone numbers. Mail to/pay to addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers may be updated electronically through ePEAP, which can be accessed through the PROMISe™ provider portal. For any other provider file changes please notify the Bureau of Quality and Provider Management Enrollment and Certification Section at 1-800-932-0939 Option #1.

To ensure you receive email communications distributed from the Office of Long-Term Living, please visit the ListServ Archives page at http://listserv.dpw.state.pa.us to update or register your email address.

The PA Department of Human Services (DHS) is in the process of developing and implementing a statewide Resource and Referral Tool, in order to assist families with receiving the necessary services to address their needs around social determinants of health (SDOH). This tool will include an SDOH standardized assessment which, when completed, will generate a list of resources closer to the community where the patient lives. It will also allow service providers to make electronic referrals and receive a notification when the patient receives the services.

In order to understand how this tool could better meet the needs of health care providers, we would like to know what you currently have in place to assess and address SDOH needs. DHS has put together a very brief questionnaire (7–8 questions) to receive provider feedback.

This survey should be completed by the individual in your practice who is in charge of SDOH assessments or has the most knowledge about how they are incorporated into your workflow. DHS would like to receive your feedback by Tuesday, June 25, 2019. Complete the survey here.

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After nearly a decade-long partial Title IV-E reimbursement deferral, the Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF) is providing notice which advises counties that there is a successful negotiated conclusion of this deferral effective July 1, 2019! Through the efforts of OCYF and the Rate Methodology Task Force, the changes made to the budget documentation review process for FY 2019/20 were reviewed in April and determined to accurately demonstrate the allocation of costs into allowable maintenance and allowable administration categories. Additionally, the pending changes made to the web-based application to support accurate claiming of these expenses in the appropriate categories has been approved.

Please review this bulletin for next steps, including the update to the Title IV-E Validation System on July 13, 2019. For further information please contact Jim Sharp, RCPA Children’s Services Director.

ODP Announcement 19-069 is to inform stakeholders that effective July 1, 2019, the Department of Human Services (DHS) will be consolidating the processing of all provider enrollment applications into the Office of Medical Assistance Programs (OMAP). This will include the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP). ODP will monitor the provider enrollment application processing to ensure providers continue to be enrolled in accordance with applicable regulations and standards.

The new address to send all paper applications and forms is listed below:

BFFSP Provider Enrollment
PO Box 8045
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8045

The Online Application Service to enroll in the Medical Assistance (MA) Program is available on the department’s website. Paper applications may also be sent via fax to 717-265-8284. Applications may also be sent to the OMAP Email.

Providers are encouraged to submit applications electronically via the online provider enrollment portal whenever possible.

For questions or concerns related to an enrollment application, please call the OMAP Inquiry Line at 800-537-8862. If there is a question for ODP regarding regulations or policy, please submit to ODP email.