Tags Posts tagged with "DHS"


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The Importance of Place in Trauma-Informed Care: A Wellness Approach
May 15, 2024
10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Registration now open 

The Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) and the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) have announced the Dual Diagnosis Professional Conference Series, which offers presentations focused on supporting individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism (ID/A) and mental health needs. The next presentation will focus on the connection between trauma-informed care and positive support, framed in a wellness perspective. Critical to this effort was the creation of a safe place, the wellness center, specifically selected and modified to reduce the possible re-traumatization of individuals with ID/A or a dual diagnosis.

See the announcement for a full session description, presenter biographies, and information on how to register.

Hole torn in a dollar bill with medicaid text

On April 25, 2024, at 12:00 pm, a virtual statewide briefing will be conducted on Medicaid unwinding and expanded enrollment options. This event will feature Health and Human Services (HHS) Regional Director Melissa Herd, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Val Arkoosh, and Pennie Executive Director Devon Trolley.

The agenda will include a briefing on what’s happening at the federal level when it comes to Medicaid, an update on the Medicaid “unwinding” process currently wrapping up in Pennsylvania, and the expanded eligibility requirements for enrolling in Pennie coverage even when it’s not open enrollment.

To register, please visit here.

Pennsylvania state Reps. Maureen Madden (D) and Jim Struzzi (R) last week issued a bi-partisan co-sponsorship memo seeking support among their colleagues for a bill that will force the Department of Human Services (DHS) to take a more active role in Pennsylvania’s Opioid Use Disorder Centers of Excellence (COE) while forcing consistency and eliminating interpretation among the five behavioral health managed care organizations (BH-MCO).

RCPA has been working to address multiple components of COE inconsistency, including: interpretation of COE definition; compliance with COE requirements; and policies, procedures, and payment models being implemented by the commonwealth’s five BH-MCOs.

RCPA, on behalf of its SUD treatment provider members that operate COEs, has repeatedly asked DHS to enforce consistency in the COE program from MCO to MCO. Despite DHS considering the COEs overall to be a “wild success,” they have refused to take any action to ensure the success continues in the transition to managed care. In the past several months, RCPA and provider members that operate COEs have testified in front of the House Democratic Policy Committee and the House Human Services Committee on the disjointed and burdensome transition of the COEs into Pennsylvania’s Medicaid state plan. You can read RCPA’s testimony or watch the Human Services hearing.

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The Medical Assistance Bulletin 08-24-04, issued by the Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Medical Assistance Programs (OMAP), provides updates to the PROMISe (Provider Reimbursement and Operations Management Information System) Provider Handbook 837, Professional/CMS-1500 Claim Form, specifically focusing on Appendix E – FQHC/RHC (Federally Qualified Health Center/Rural Health Center) Handbook. Released on March 1, 2024, the bulletin outlines revisions to Federal and State requirements for FQHCs and RHCs in Pennsylvania participating in the Medical Assistance (MA) Program.

Notable changes include the addition of pharmacists and licensed dietician-nutritionists as eligible practitioners for billable encounters starting March 1, 2024. The revision addresses group therapy encounters and introduces guidelines for telehealth, telemedicine, and teledentistry in FQHC and RHC services. A new section on alternative payment methodologies is included, along with updates to the MA Cost Reporting and Wraparound Reporting sections. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ clarification designates “hospital” as an allowable place of service for FQHC and RHC services. Providers are encouraged to review the revised handbook for detailed information on these changes.

If you have any questions, please contact RCPA Policy Director Jim Sharp.

All sessions are scheduled from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.

  • Tannersville, PA, Northampton Community College: June 5, 2024
  • Butler, PA, Monarch Institute: June 12, 2024
  • Malvern, PA, PaTTAN East: June 18, 2024
  • Bellefonte, PA, Central Penn Institute of Science and Technology: June 26, 2024

In this second annual ODP Employment Regional Symposium, participants will hear from employers about how, what, and why they hired individuals with developmental disabilities. Individuals who are employed and their teams will describe how having a job made a difference in their lives and the lives of their families. Representatives from the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP), Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), and the Bureau of Special Education will discuss collaboration across systems and offices with a focus on things that you thought might not be possible.

Who should attend?

Anyone interested in advancing the employment of individuals with developmental disabilities including but not limited to: current and future employers, self-advocates, local education authorities, intermediate units, ODP employment/community participation support/residential providers, supports coordinators, administrative entities transition counselors, regional employment coalitions, and OVR business liaisons.

Boxed lunches will be provided. Morning beverages and snacks are on your own.

Registration information will be sent in a separate ODP Announcement.

As noted in a previous alert from the Department of Human Services (DHS), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has also been providing updates regarding the recent cybersecurity incident that impacted Change Healthcare (a unit of UnitedHealth Group). HHS has noted that their first priority is to help coordinate efforts to avoid disruptions to care throughout the health care system.

On March 5, 2024, HHS announced immediate steps that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking to assist providers to continue to serve patients. CMS will continue to communicate with the health care community and assist, as appropriate. Providers should continue to work with all their payers for the latest updates on how to receive timely payments.