The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) sent out guidance on June 14, 2021 regarding three temporary regulatory suspensions granted by the governor’s declaration of a disaster emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic. House Bill 1861, which was signed into law today by Governor Wolf, further extends those regulatory suspensions from September 30, 2021 until March 31, 2022 unless terminated sooner. In addition to the suspensions noted in DDAP’s previous communication, one additional regulatory suspension from the Department of State, also relevant to the field, is added to the chart below and also suspended until March 31, 2022.
|Statute/Regulation||Statute/Regulation Purpose||Waiver benefit/explanation|
|28 Pa. Code § 715.16(e)||Prohibits narcotic treatment programs (NTPs–methadone clinics) from permitting a patient to receive more than a 2-week take-home supply of medication.||In response to COVID-19, SAMHSA is allowing up to 28 days of take-home medications for patients on stable dosages, if the physician deems appropriate.|
|28 Pa. Code § 715.9(a)(4)||Requires NTPs to make a face-to-face determination before admission to treatment, for those clients who will receive buprenorphine treatment.||In response to COVID-19, SAMHSA is allowing initial evaluations for a patient who will be treated with buprenorphine to be completed via telehealth.|
|28 Pa. Code § 715.6(d)||Requires NTPs to have narcotic treatment physician services onsite.||In response to COVID-19, SAMHSA is allowing initial evaluations for a patient who will be treated with buprenorphine to be completed via telehealth.|
|49 Pa. Code § 16.92(b)(1)
(Department of State)
|Before a patient can be prescribed any controlled substance in Pennsylvania, a person licensed to practice medicine and surgery in the commonwealth, or otherwise licensed or regulated by the State Board of Medicine, must take an initial medical history and conduct an initial physical examination,
unless emergency circumstances justify otherwise.
|In response to COVID-19, the Department of State suspended the initial medical history and physical examination requirement specifically for the treatment of opioid-use disorder with buprenorphine.|
Please email the Bureau of Program Licensure or call (717) 783-8675 with questions.
In addition to the general sessions, including national updates that will provide valuable information to all, we have several break-out sessions that will be offered live each day during our 2021 Conference. These sessions include:
Tuesday September 28, 2021
Wednesday September 29, 2021
Thursday September 30, 2021
There will also be over 20 “on-demand” sessions on many timely subjects and topics, such as Leadership, Diversity, and Remote Supports and Services.
Visit the RCPA Conference website for specific updates to the schedule, posted as they become finalized.
The Office of Developmental Programs is pleased to announce the availability of four additional courses in the College of Employment Services (CES).
Employment Services for People with Mental Health Disabilities: In this course we’ll talk about common obstacles facing job seekers with mental health issues, and proven principles and specific skills that can help you support them. In these four lessons, we’ll look at some research-supported ways to help this population succeed in the workforce.
Employment for People with Disabilities and Criminal Histories: Welcome to our course about employment services for people with disabilities and criminal histories. In these two lessons, you will learn about specific strategies that can help you support these job seekers.
Preparing for a Seamless Move from School to Adult Life: In this six part course you’ll learn about strategies and partnerships in schools and communities that support high expectations around work and post-secondary education. You’ll also learn about governmental policies and programs to support employment and post-secondary education.
Ticket to Work: You’ve probably been hearing about the Social Security Ticket to Work program for years. But what is it, and how can it help the job seekers you support? Get an overview of this useful work incentive in this special feature.
If you have questions concerning CES access, please contact the state wide administrator using the following email address and telephone number.
Phone Contact: 866-865-6170
ODP Announcement 21-062 communicates that the following items are now available:
The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), along with Temple University, has released an updated 2021 Version 1.1 Certified Investigators’ (CI) Manual. This document replaces the manual that was published in 2018. Prospective, newly certified, and current Certified Investigators are now required to follow the 2021 Version 1.1 Certified Investigator Manual.
A Summary of the CI Manual Changes, including new and modified sections along with the Manual, can be found on MyODP by using the following path: – Training > Certified Investigator Program > CI Help and Resources > All Documents > Manuals, or by clicking on the highlighted blue link below: 2021 CI Manual and Overview of Changes.
The topic of the August 2021 CI Forum will be the changes to the CI Manual and investigation standards to align with Incident Management (IM) Bulletin 00-21-02. Sessions are scheduled for August 20, 2021 (10:00 am–11:30 am) and August 27, 2021 (2:00 pm–3:30 pm). There will be one session available each day.
Message from Kevin Dressler:
Weekly COVID Report
The weekly COVID reports that the Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs) have been sending to the regional office can be discontinued, effective immediately. All COVID cases for people served in the ICFs are required to be reported into EIM. All COVID cases for staff are required to be reported into HRS. We ask that if you have a COVID outbreak in your facility and you are in need of support in any manner, please contact the RA account and the regional office and we can try to assist in addressing your needs. The link to the HRS reporting requirement is COVID-19 Reporting–ODP Announcement 20-061.
Health Alert Network (HAN)
Please continue to monitor the Pennsylvania Department of Health HANs even as the COVID pandemic seems to be easing its spread across Pennsylvania. The HANs offer insight into health related information that is of value in supporting our staff and people served. On the DOH website there is a link that you can sign up to receive new and updated HANs as they are published.
The link to the website is here.
Updated DHS Guidance for Long-Term Care Facilities (includes ICFs)
The DHS guidance for long term care facilities was updated and primarily reflects changes to the surveillance testing for unvaccinated staff and residents. Please review and adjust your policies accordingly. The link to the guidance is here.
ICF Task Force Meeting
Reminder the ICF Taskforce meeting is set for Tuesday July 6 from 10:00 am–1:00 pm. The Agenda was emailed on 6-17-21, and the link to register is here (same as per 6/25 email).
Lastly, have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!