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In a letter to President Donald Trump, Governor Wolf outlined the urgency for the President to  immediately restart negotiations with Congress around a new stimulus package that would help fund the 300 Regional Response Healthcare Collaborative Program (RRHCP), and hundreds of members of the PA National Guard who are assisting in long-term care homes. The grant funding for these programs are set to end December 31, 2020. The need comes at a critical junction when PA is dealing with both the effects of this pandemic on its citizens and getting communities back on their feet.

The RRHCP program has been incredibly effective at helping Pennsylvania mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and respond quickly and appropriately when case outbreaks have occurred in long-term care facilities.

RCPA stands in full support of Governor Wolf’s letter and efforts to stabilize funding for these and all programs that serve Pennsylvanians, including the most vulnerable citizens that we directly serve.

If providers have not already started implementing Electronic Visit Verification (EVV), providers are at risk at being out of compliance on January 1, 2021.

All claims and encounters for personal care services (PCS) subject to EVV requirements for dates of service on or after January 1, 2021 must have a corresponding EVV visit or claims payment will be impacted. Manual editing compliance rates will also go into effect on January 1, 2021. Please reference the recently released Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) for Personal Care Services bulletin and Electronic Visit Verification for Personal Care Services Provided in the Fee-for-Service Delivery System bulletin for additional details.

Alternate/Third Party EVV Systems

Fee-For-Service providers using an Alternate EVV system who have not already reached out to begin the Aggregator Certification process must contact Sandata Alternate EVV support team by phone at 855-705-2407 or by email as soon as possible to begin this process. Providers must receive their production credentials and confirm their EVV data is viewable in the Aggregator Portal to complete the certification process.

Community HealthChoices (CHC) Providers

All CHC providers must be actively working with the CHC-Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) to ensure they are in compliance with all EVV requirements. If your agency has not already started collecting EVV data and sending the appropriate data to each contracted MCO, please reach out to the MCOs as soon as possible to begin this process.

Providers Electing to use the Department of Human Services (DHS) Sandata EVV System

Providers electing to use the DHS Sandata EVV system must complete Sandata’s “Pennsylvania DHS – Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) Self-Paced Training for Agency Providers” training in order to receive credentials to use the system for OBRA, Act 150, and Offices of Developmental Programs and Medical Assistance Programs fee-for-service participants. Please begin this process as soon as possible by completing the sign-up form.

Upon completing the self-paced training, providers will be issued a Welcome Kit, including their agency’s production credentials. Providers must setup their agency and direct care workers in the EVV Provider Portal and train the rest of their staff on how to use the system, including the Sandata Mobile Connect™ application and telephonic visit verification (TVV) visit capture modalities to their direct care workers.

If you have any questions, please email them here.

The Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) public meeting scheduled for tomorrow, October 23, 2020, has been canceled. An email communication with EVV updates will be sent next week via the EVV Listserv.

The next EVV public meeting will be held on November 20, 2020, from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. You can register for this meeting on the EVV Public Meetings Registration site.

Any questions about this communication should be sent to this email.

Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for approximately 70 million Americans will increase 1.3 percent in 2021, the Social Security Administration has announced.

According to SSA, the average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker will increase by $20, from $1,523 in 2020 to $1,543 in 2021. The average monthly benefit for a Social Security disabled worker beneficiary will increase by $16, from $1,261 in 2020 to $1,277 in 2021. In addition, the SSI Federal Payment Standard will increase from $783 per month in 2020 to $794 per month in 2021.

Important work incentive thresholds for Social Security and SSI beneficiaries with disabilities will also increase, including the Substantial Gainful Activity level and the Trial Work Period earnings level. View SSA’s fact sheet for more details on the 2021 Social Security COLA.

There are many online resources about Social Security. You can find many answers about the programs and services on the Frequently Asked Questions page… Continue reading →

As part of DHS Secretary Teresa Miller’s update, please see this latest message regarding DHS’ actions in response to the COVID-19 crisis. This contains the information shared by Secretary Miller during the stakeholder call on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. The document highlights responses to ongoing questions and answers asked during the webinars and includes updated information on funding, regulatory waivers, reopening guidance, and other resources. If you have any questions, please contact your RCPA Policy Director.

Senior woman with her caregiver at home


The U.S. Government Accountability Office has issued a report on home health care workers, in which it estimates that “jobs in homecare will increase by 40 percent in the next decade to meet demand from older adults and people with disabilities.” The report also looks at changes individual states made to their Medicaid programs in response to the Home Care Rule, which the Department of Labor issued in 2015, extending Fair Labor Standards Act’s protections to home health care workers. It also examines “the Home Care Rule’s effect on home care provider agencies, workers, and consumers.”

In preparing the report, the “GAO analyzed 2010 through 2019 national survey data on workers’ hours and wages; interviewed stakeholders from 15 organizations that represent the different groups affected, DOL officials, and home care program officials from three states selected based on variation in their Medicaid programs and minimum wage levels; and reviewed studies on state strategies to implement the Home Care Rule.”

The need for additional home health care workers has been known to the disability community for some time and hopefully this report can generate more ideas for how to fill what will be an increasing need.