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The Department of Human Services (DHS) announced some upcoming changes to their website that will change the way individuals access licensing resources online. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania website is undergoing a wholesale redesign and migration in stages. The redesign is intended to highlight and create ease of access for all Commonwealth of Pennsylvania resources. The launch date for the DHS site is tentatively scheduled for May 28, 2024.

Due to the nature of the redesign/migration, all web addresses (URL) will change. Most of the web links you currently use to access licensing resources will automatically redirect, but some links, particularly those linking to or from PDF documents, may cease to work. A search function is included in the new website to assist in locating resources that may be lost due to URL changes.

The Bureau of Human Services Licensing (BHSL) will send additional communication after the full impact of changes related to the new website have been assessed. In the meantime, online search engines can help locate resources. You can also email for assistance.

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The Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) announced that Theresa Hartman is the new Director for the Bureau of Human Services Licensing (BHSL). See the announcement below:

Theresa is a dedicated health and human services professional that has dedicated her career to working with aging and disabled persons managing chronic and acute conditions for more than 30 years in Pennsylvania. Working as a nurse, she has done bedside nursing care, care management, and served in management and regional positions in the nursing home industry for over 20 years. In 2018, she made the move into Home and Community-Based Services as a Chief Operations and Compliance Officer for a Service Coordination provider and successfully led them through the transition from fee-for-service into the managed Community Health Choices program as well as NCQA accreditation. She also served on the PA HCBS Providers Board.

She is passionate about advocating for our most vulnerable populations, seniors, and those that are underserved. She believes we can improve the lives of our most vulnerable populations in Pennsylvania by supporting our providers and giving them the tools they need to succeed and reach the high-quality standards and requirements we set.

Theresa is joining the Department of Human Services from her role as Vice President of Clinical Services for GrayHawk Health, a healthcare practice provider that is building community-based programs to fill in care gaps for dual eligible populations across Pennsylvania. She earned her nursing degree from Drexel University and her Bachelor’s in Organizational Management from Eastern University. She is also a certified Case Manager and holds an active nursing license in Pennsylvania.

Questions may be sent electronically.

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An announcement was issued today regarding the Bureau Director for the Bureau of Human Services Licensing (BHSL) for the Department of Human Services (DHS). The current Bureau Director, Jeanne Parisi, has accepted the Deputy Secretary position for Quality Assurance at the Department of Health, effective March 20, 2023. Brian MacDaid has been appointed Acting Bureau Director, also effective March 20, 2023. Brian has worked for the Commonwealth in DHS for the past 22 years and currently works for the Office of Long-Term Living (OLTL) in the Bureau of Quality Assurance and Program Analytics as the Director of the Quality Assurance Division.

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 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.

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Message from the Bureau of Human Services Licensing (BHSL) regarding the renewals of assisted living residences (ALR) and personal care homes (PCHs) license renewals:

Due to staffing issues, BHSL Licensing Administration is currently experiencing a delay in processing renewals 130 days in advance of expiration. In most cases, Licensing Administration is issuing the license in the month that it expires.

If your license has expired and you have not yet received your renewal, please contact Licensing Administration at 717-705-0383 or via email directly so that your renewal can be expedited. Any Certificates of Compliance that have or will be expired on or before August 31, 2022, have been emailed to the email addresses we have on file. We are currently working on the September expiration dates. To expedite the process, you will be receiving your Certificate of Compliance electronically. It is being sent to the email address(es) as noted on your renewal application. If changes to your email address(es) are needed at any time throughout the year, please send a notification email here and to your regional office.

The Certificate of Compliance may also be printed from the Provider Directory, which is updated when the Certificate of Compliance is issued via email. It can be found by searching the name of your home here. Select the Certificate hyperlink in the License Status & License # column of your directory listing.

Please be reminded that if you have not received your approval letter from BEO, you will need to submit a Civil Rights Attestation electronically. You can find the form here. The Attestation may be submitted via email ONLY if you had previously submitted the CRCQ without receiving a letter of approval from the BEO. It should be emailed here. Any email correspondence sent to Licensing Administration should have this format in the subject line: LICENSE #, NAME OF HOME, DESCRIPTION OF CONTENTS, i.e.: 123450 – ABC Personal Care Home – Attestation.

When submitting the Civil Rights Compliance Attestation with the renewal application and renewal application fee, they must submitted in one mailing via physical mail to:

Via USPS:

DHS/BHSL
Room 623
PO Box 2675
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2675                               

Or via courier:

DHS/BHSL
Health & Welfare Building Rm 623
625 Forster Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120  

The Bureau of Human Services Licensing (BHSL) recently issued updated information on the Plan of Correction (POC) process. Beginning on May 1, 2022, the following will be implemented:

  • A new one page Effective Plan of Correction Guide, which the licensing representative will review and leave behind at each Exit Conference;
  • The availability of staff to schedule a phone consultation for technical assistance prior to the submission of the initial Plan of Correction;
  • One reminder phone call and email for any overdue initial or revised Plans of Correction;
  • Return of unacceptable initial submissions of the Plan of Correction in Sanswrite with specific comments on what is required on the resubmission for the Plan to be accepted;
  • One phone call and email to schedule an appointment to walk through the Plan of Correction process for any unacceptable second submission of Plans of Correction; and
  • The opportunity to request an extension of due dates for initial and revised submissions of Plans of Correction.

These actions have been taken so that providers have every opportunity to submit an acceptable POC and, when possible, avoid a directed POC.

Other changes that BHSL is implementing to address quality, consistency, and timeliness include:

  • Initial POC that are missing information or do not adequately address the violation will not be accepted or directed. If the Plan is missing any of the required information, such as when the corrective action will be implanted or who is responsible, OR the plan is inadequate to correct for the violation, the plan will be returned with comments in Sanswrite, even for minor errors.
  • If a POC has not been received past the due date, BHSL will direct the POC no sooner than three business days after one reminder phone call and email have been made. BHSL may accept the provider’s late submission of a POC if a directed POC has not yet been started.

To request technical assistance at any point in the process or an extension of due dates, providers should contact their licensing supervisor (or licensing representative in the Central region) prior to the POC due date. Additional information on submitting an acceptable POC is also available at Personal Care Home Licensing under “Plans of Correction.”

For additional information, please refer to the Effective POC Guide and the Sample Acceptable Plans of Correction for Personal Care Homes (PCHs) and Assisted Living Residences (ALRs).

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COVID-19 testing is an essential activity that increases safety for congregate care settings as part of a comprehensive mitigation strategy. Two resources are now available for providers and facilities.

Operation Expanded Testing (OpET) is a federal testing resource that may be useful to your organization. Please see the presentation slides for more detailed information. Providers wishing to use OpET as a resource should coordinate directly with Eurofins.

OpET At A Glance

  • No contract is needed for participation in OpET.
  • No charge. OpET is 100% funded through the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
  • No exclusivity. The organization can end testing at any time for any reason.
  • All supplies are sent to testing location two weeks in advance at no charge.
  • All training is supplied at no charge.
  • No charge for courier services; Eurofins will coordinate specimen pickup and supply delivery.
  • No waiting to get another sample. Auto retesting (reflex) if PCR pooled group is found to be positive.
  • No cost rapid testing. When used in conjunction with PCR pooled testing program, antigen testing is available for program options.
  • 24-hour results turnaround (TAT) for PCR testing.
  • Reporting is fully automated and HIPAA compliant using Concentric by Ginkgo.
  • Testing flexibility — facility can determine their own testing frequency, with specific PCR pooled groups of 5–24 samples at a time.
  • Staff can participate in the OpET program.

If you wish to enroll or have questions related to Operation Expanded Testing, please contact Eurofins via email or call 833-742-0862. Questions related to this communication should be directed virtually here.


In addition, due to the recent surge in COVID-19, the Bureau of Human Services Licensing (BHSL) has been receiving a large number of requests for testing support. If your facility needs testing due to an active outbreak or to prepare for an outbreak, please contact the Dept. of Health via email for questions about LTC testing assistance and/or to get access to testing support and resources. You can also complete and submit the “Universal Testing Needs Assessment Form.” If eligible, someone will contact you for scheduling.

If you are a facility requesting additional Abbott BinaxNOW cards, please email with the amount of tests requested and your shipping information. Note that your facility must have a CLIA certification to perform rapid COVID antigen testing to be eligible for the BinaxNOW cards.

Please contact the Dept. of Health for any additional information on testing.

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The Department of Human Services Bureau of Human Services Licensing (BHSL) has released a draft Regulatory Compliance Guide (RCG) for Chapter 3800, relating to child residential and day treatment facilities. The RCG provides guidance about how the Department of Human Services will interpret and apply the chapter’s regulatory requirements during licensing inspections and investigations.

BHSL is inviting the Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association to work with members to review and comment on this draft guide. Please review the draft document and send your comments, suggestion and recommendations to Connell O’Brien. RCPA will collect provider input and share that information with the leadership of BHSL. Comments are due to RCPA by July 10 for submission to BHSL by July 17. The leadership of BHSL has communicated their clear interest in provider input and plans to take all comments into consideration prior to issuing a final RCG later this summer.