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The Department of Human Services (DHS) issued a communication regarding a delay in the distribution of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding allocated to Personal Care Homes (PCH) and Assisted Living Residences (ALR) by Act 54 of 2022.

As of 2/6/2023, approximately 50 percent of the Act 54 payments for PCH and ALR had been processed by OLTL, and approximately 25 percent of the total facilities for which form submissions have been received have been fully processed and paid by the Treasury. DHS anticipates that it may take until the end of March 2023 for the remaining 50 percent of payments to be processed and finalized. Providers are asked to please be patient while the remaining payments are processed. If your facility is anticipating serious negative consequences from the delay of your payment, please email.

Visit here for information on the exact breakdown of the $26,767,000 of available Act 54 funding for PCH and ALR.

Please remember that 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 the Department of Human Services (DHS) upon request for purposes of determining compliance with Act 54 requirements. Instructions on expenditure reporting will be provided at a later date.

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 US Department of the Treasury website in their Compliance and Reporting Guidance.

If your facility has not submitted an Act 54 Facility Acceptance Form, you may still do so. Do not submit this form if your facility has previously applied for this funding.

Other questions about this information may be directed via email.

Temple University Harrisburg is offering free online training sessions that are approved to meet the Personal Care Home (PCH) and Assisted Living Residence (ALR) Administrator annual training requirements.

The training sessions are entitled:

You need only to register for one session for each topic. Please read the training announcements in full before registering to ensure you can meet the participation requirements. Please only register for these sessions if you are sure you will be able to complete them.

Participation is limited for each course. If you register and later discover you are unable to participate, please cancel your registration to create space for other participants.

You can email Temple University any questions you have about these trainings or if you require assistance with registration. If you would like information about additional trainings available for PCH and ALR administrators, please contact the Bureau of Human Services Licensing Operator Support Hotline.

On an annual basis, the Bureau of Human Services Licensing (BHSL) provides approximately 500 hours of training for Personal Care Home (PCH) and Assisted Living Residence (ALR) administrators and staff. In order to help maximize the impact of BHSL’s training programs, members are requested to complete a ten question survey. Survey results will be kept anonymous and will be used to shape their training programs in 2023 and beyond.

This survey is intended only for administrators and staff of a licensed PCH/ALR. The survey is optional; however, your participation is strongly encouraged. The survey will be available until February 28, 2023.

Questions should be directed via email.

The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) issued information and clarification on the recent increase to the Personal Care Home (PCH) Supplement for PCH residents currently receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or currently meeting SSI disability and income criteria while applying for SSI.

In August of 2022, the Pennsylvania legislature approved an increase to the PCH Supplement, retroactive to July 1, 2022. The supplement was increased from $439.30 to $639.30 for individuals and from $957.40 to $1357.40 for married couples. The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers both the federal SSI benefit and the PCH supplement. In January 2023, SSA applied the increase and began issuing retroactive payments in lump sums.

As indicated in the Personal Care Home regulations, 55. PA Code Chapter 2600, “If a home agrees to admit a resident eligible for SSI benefits, the home’s charge for actual rent and other services may not exceed the SSI resident’s actual current monthly income reduced by the current personal needs allowance.”

For the purpose of applying the regulations to the PCH Supplement increase, a resident’s actual monthly income should be calculated by including the increased PCH supplement beginning July 1, 2022, and applied as follows:

  • Residents and/or Representative Payees are expected to provide these retroactive payments to the PCH.
  • If a resident was admitted to a PCH between July 1, 2022, and the issuance of the retroactive benefit, the PCH is only entitled to the monthly increase for the months that the resident resided in the PCH.
  • If the resident lived in another PCH prior to admission to their current PCH, the resident and/or representative payee should ensure that the appropriate monthly portions of the retroactive benefit are paid to both the discharging and admitting facilities.
  • Resident-Home Contracts are not required to be updated for the retroactive benefit; however, contracts are required to reflect the actual charges for room, board, and services no later than March 31, 2023.

Questions about the status of individual retroactive and/or monthly SSI and PCH Supplement payments can be addressed by calling SSA at 800-772-1216. Additional questions about the application of the retroactive PCH Supplement increase can be directed via email. For information about applying for SSI and or the PCH Supplement, please contact your local agency.

The Bureau of Human Services Licensing (BHSL) within the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) has issued the following guidance on the lifting of regulatory suspensions for Personal Care Homes (PCHs) and Assisted Living Residences (ALRs):

On July 1, 2022, the suspension of various regulatory provisions under the state disaster emergency declaration was extended to October 31, 2022. On November 1, 2022, the remaining regulatory suspensions expired, and the full regulatory requirements of 55. PA Code Chapter 2600 (Personal Care Homes) and 55. PA Code Chapter 2800 (Assisted Living Residences) were reinstated.

While most of these regulatory requirements required compliance beginning immediately on November 1, 2022, certain regulatory suspensions included 90-day grace periods designed to allow facilities to fully comply with the regulations. That 90-day period will come to an end on January 30, 2023. Facilities are expected to be able to demonstrate compliance with these regulations beginning January 31, 2023.

A guidance document for Personal Care Homes and Assisted Living Residences includes a list of all applicable regulations that were suspended under the emergency declaration, the dates and details of the suspensions, and clarification on what providers can expect when compliance is being measured in their facilities.

Please note that compliance with annual training requirements is dependent on the 12-month training year for Direct Care Staff and Administrators, as determined by the licensed entity. Training requirements for training years that ended between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022, are required to be in compliance by January 31, 2023. If a training year began in 2022 but does not end until 2023, that training year is incomplete and compliance cannot be measured until after the conclusion of the training year.

Please also note that for administrator training years ending in 2023, all 24 hours of administrator training may be completed online, provided that at least 12 of those hours are formatted as a live training (e.g., Zoom, Teams, etc.). A maximum of 12 hours of online asynchronous or pre-recorded trainings are permitted.

Questions about this announcement and the guidance document can be directed via email.

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The Bureau of Human Services Licensing (BHSL) has released the 2019 and 2020 annual reports on Personal Care Home (PCH) licensing. The reports describe the characteristics of PCHs, needs of individuals served, number and types of inspections completed, number of complaints investigated, enforcement actions taken, provision of technical assistance to operators, and other methods used by BHSL to achieve its mission of protecting individuals.

A full list of PCH annual reports can be found on the PCH annual report site.

Questions about PCH reporting requirements or the contents of these reports can be addressed via email.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) released an announcement about an upcoming webinar that will focus on developing timely and acceptable Plans of Correction (POC). The webinar has been scheduled for December 12, 2022, from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm.

The webinar, led by Jeanne Parisi, Director of the Bureau of Human Services Licensing (BHSL), and Joshua Hoover of the Division of Training and Professional Development, will review DHS’ timelines for licensing activities, BHSL licensing procedures, the necessary elements for developing a quality POC, the basics of root-cause analysis, and the resources and assistance that are available. Attendees will also have the opportunity to workshop POC with fellow providers and BHSL staff.

The webinar is approved for Personal Care Home (PCH) and Assisted Living Residence (ALR) annual training hours. Members interested in participating in this webinar should register here. Questions about the webinar or the registration process can be sent electronically.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) has released a Request for Applications (RFA) for the Long-Term Care Quality Investment Pilot, which will distribute approximately $11.7 million in federal funds to long-term care facilities, including skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), personal care homes (PCHs), assisted living facilities (ALFs), and intermediate care facilities (ICFs) for the purpose of building resilience. These funds are designed to be invested in key areas such as workforce development and retention, infection prevention control, emergency preparedness, and improvements to facility infrastructure.

Please note the following:

  • Facilities must be enrolled in the LTC RISE program’s quality improvement projects in order to be considered eligible for funding.
  • Facilities in Philadelphia are not eligible for this funding.

DOH encourages facilities to apply for this opportunity. The application deadline is 1:30 pm on December 31, 2022. Additional details and information can be found by here.

Questions about this funding opportunity should be addressed by submitting questions through the formal procurement process, which is detailed in the RFA.

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

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 Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) recently released an announcement to personal care homes (PCH) regarding an opportunity to pursue additional support with infection prevention and control, COVID-19 response readiness, and other infectious disease preparedness at no cost.

DOH, in partnership with APIC Consulting Services, has developed a specially-tailored Infection Control and Response (ICAR) tool to assist a limited number of Personal Care Homes through an on-site assessment and consultation, development of improvement action plans, and numerous options for follow-up support.

Please see the announcement for details about pursuing this opportunity. Funding for the program is limited, and access to these services will be on a first come, first served basis. This program is not available to Assisted Living Residences or Personal Care Homes in Philadelphia County.

Questions can be sent electronically.