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Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations

The Office of Developmental Programs: Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations (ODP: BSASP), and the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT) are trying to learn more about training needs among providers across all systems that support individuals with autism, intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, and their families.

The data collected from this survey will be used by ODP to inform trainings that reflect the needs of provider and professional organizations throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The deadline for survey responses has been extended to February 7, 2020. The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete. If you have any questions, please submit them here.

The ODP Adult Autism Waiver (AAW) requires Supports Coordinators (SCs) to administer a battery of assessments at intake, annually, and as needs change. Included in that battery of assessments is administering the Scales of Independent Behavior – Revised (SIBr). It has come to the department’s attention that the SIBr software will not be compatible with the most recent versions of Microsoft.

ODP Announcement 19-166 informs that as of January 1, 2020, the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations (BSASP) expects all SCs to administer the SIBr and send the raw scores to BSASP, as currently designed, with these changes:

  • Since the scores will not be calculated, it is expected that SCs and teams use the raw scores and SIBr response booklet to do an item analysis that will aid in planning for the participant’s supports and services.
  • Identifying those items in the assessment in which the participant’s score is low should be a prompt for the team to consider goals and supports that address the potential area of weakness.

The SIBr response booklet should be kept in the participant’s file and may be reviewed for completion during monitoring activities. Please submit questions here.

ODP Announcement 19-147 serves to clarify the billing process of respite services in a non-residential setting. Respite services are direct services that are provided to supervise and support participants living in private homes on a short-term basis for planned or emergency situations, giving the person(s) normally providing care a period of relief that may be scheduled or due to an emergency. This communication does not apply to services in the Adult Autism Waiver or any services offered by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations (BSASP).

The correct procedure code to use for these services depends on the Needs Level of the individual and the site where the respite is provided.

Respite services could be provided as a service at a residential site or in the community under a site enrolled as a Provider Type 51 specialty 513. Services can be provided under this specialty combination in settings such as:

  • A residential site such as a private licensed home in Pennsylvania under the 6400, 6500, 3800, 5310 licensure requirements;
  • An unlicensed residential Life Sharing home in Pennsylvania;
  • A participant’s private home or an unlicensed private home located in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington, DC or a state contiguous to Pennsylvania;
  • Other private homes, hotels, or rentals during temporary travel in accordance to ODP’s travel policy;
  • Camp settings that meet applicable state or local codes; or
  • Community settings that maintain the participant’s schedule of activities.

A new billing option has been created for respite services provided in respite-only homes under the 52 / 513 combination:

  • The site would be a respite only home.
  • The site would be licensed under the 55 Pa Code Chapter 6400 and the Approved Program Capacity approved prior to enrollment.
  • This would not be the same as a residential home licensed under the 55 Pa Code Chapter 6400 providing residential services being billed as a site enrolled under the Provider Type 52 specialty 521. You would not enroll the specialty 513 in combination with a specialty 521 at a PT 52 site.
  • The site could also be providing Exceptional Day Respite at a licensed intermediate care facility for individuals with ID (55 Pa Code Chapter 6600) that are owned and operated by private agencies or a Licensed Nursing Home (28 Pa Code Chapters 201, 203, 205, 207, 209 and 211).

When a participant has a Needs Group 3 or 4 that indicates medical or behavioral needs, and the participant is unable to locate a respite provider to render services in a community setting, they may be approved for Exceptional Day Respite. A variance may be requested for Respite services in licensed intermediate care facilities for individuals with an intellectual disability (55 Pa. Code Chapter 6600) that are owned and operated by private agencies, Licensed Nursing Homes (28 Pa. Code Chapters 201, 203, 205, 207, 209 and 211).

And Licensed Community Homes (55 Pa. Code Chapter 6400) located in Pennsylvania within the home’s approved program capacity of 5 to 8 may be requested for approval from the regional office.

For more detailed information, including charts with the appropriate billing codes, please refer to the ODP Announcement.

Registration for the 12th Annual Pennsylvania Autism Training Conference (PATC), Thursday and Friday, September 5-6 in Lancaster, PA is now open. PATC is an excellent training and networking opportunity for supports coordinators, employment service providers, job coaches, direct support professionals, residential service workers, community support providers, and any other professional who supports individuals with autism of all ages.

PATC gives providers a chance to learn about important topics like autism and the justice system, engage with experts at a mentoring breakfast, earn continuing education and training credits, and enjoy an evening networking reception with other providers across Pennsylvania. Please see the attached flyer for more information.

Can’t attend in person? Don’t worry! Check out the ASERT Facebook Page to view live interviews with presenters!

Contact RCPA Children’s Division Director Jim Sharp with questions.