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Personal Assistance Services

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The Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced rate increases for Personal Assistance Services (PAS) in the OBRA Waiver and Act 150 program. There will also be a rate increase for Residential Habilitation in the OBRA Waiver. These rate increases become effective on January 1, 2020. The new rates for the OBRA Waiver were published in the August 24, 2019 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The new rates for the Act 150 Program were published in the November 30, 2019 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin. These new rates are based on a participant’s county of residence.

In addition, Home and Community Services Information System (HCSIS) service plans were updated on November 30, 2019. Service Coordinators (SCs) do not need to make any service plan updates for this rate change, as a HCSIS system-wide update is being initiated to make the necessary service data updates onto the impacted service plans.

Questions about these updates should be directed to the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) Provider Inquiry Line at 800-932-0939, Option 2, Monday–Friday from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm.

Included in the August 24, 2019 Pennsylvania Bulletin was a notice from the Department of Human Services (DHS) about a change in the fee schedule rates for Personal Assistance Services (PAS) procedure codes (W1793, W1793TT, W1792, and W1792TU), and for Residential Habilitation procedure codes W0100 and W0102 in the Medical Assistance OBRA Waiver. The changes in the fee schedule rates for these services will be effective on January 1, 2020.

The existing fee schedule rates for PAS (Agency) and PAS (CSLA), procedure codes W1793 and W1793 TT, are increased by 2%. The intent of the increase is to provide for a wage increase for direct care workers providing agency-directed personal assistance services. DHS is also increasing the PAS (Consumer) and PAS (Consumer Overtime) rates, procedure codes W1792, and W1792 TU, to maintain equity in all the PAS rates in the OBRA waiver.

In addition, the existing fee schedule rates for Residential Habilitation procedure codes W0100 and W0102 are increased to include a 3 percent vacancy factor. A vacancy factor had not previously been included in the rate methodology; however, the Department recognizes that providers may not always deliver services to participants at full capacity. Therefore, a 3 percent vacancy factor will be applied to adjust the rates to account for the days the residential provider did not provide services to the participant. The provider cannot bill for days the participant did not receive services, but rather is paid a higher rate for days the participant received services. A vacancy factor of 3 percent was applied to reflect payment to providers for an average number of vacant days.

The fee schedule rates are available in the notice. Written comments regarding these fee schedule rates will be accepted through close of business on Monday, September 23, 2019 and should be sent to the Department of Human Services, Office of Long-Term Living, Bureau of Policy Development and Communications Management, Attention: Marilyn Yocum, PO Box 8025, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8025. Comments may also be submitted to the Department via email. Comments received within 30 days will be considered in subsequent revisions to the fee schedule.

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced the recent changes to the OBRA Waiver that have been approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Some of the waiver amendments include:

  • Adds five new employment-related service definitions that are replacing two existing employment service definitions. Five employment services have been added (benefits counseling, career assessment, employment skills development, job coaching, and job finding) (C-1/C-3).
  • Corrects the regulatory citation for an Outpatient or Community-Based Rehabilitation Agency provider type in the Occupational Therapy (OT), Physical Therapy (PT), Speech and Language Therapy (SLP) service definitions (C-1/C-3).
  • Clarifies that Personal Assistance Services (PAS) are only available to individuals in the waiver 21 years of age and over. All medically necessary Personal Assistance Services for children under age 21 are covered in the state plan pursuant to the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit (C-1/C-3).

The complete service definitions and requirements are now included in an updated OBRA Waiver document. The effective date of these changes is February 1, 2017.

The OBRA Waiver PROPOSED rates for the new Employment Services have also been released. Questions regarding these rates should be directed to (717) 783-8412.