Tags Posts tagged with "DHS"


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.

RCPA recently signed two letters, one to Governor Shapiro and one to the PA Department of Human Services (DHS), alongside dozens of other organizations and the Pennsylvania Community Health Worker Collaborative (PACHW) regarding the state’s plan for an amendment to authorize payments for Community Health Worker services under Pennsylvania State Medicaid. The letters outlined several key features PACHW wished to highlight regarding these payments, including:

  • Requesting DHS set “an equitable and adequate” reimbursement rate;
  • The creation of a Community Health Worker provider type; and
  • Recognizing Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) as a primary diagnosis code.

Harrisburg, PA — Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh recently published two opinion pieces highlighting the historic investments for intellectual disability and autism (ID/A) services and the ID/A workforce in Governor Josh Shapiro’s 2024/25 proposed budget. At events across the Commonwealth, Secretary Arkoosh has met with advocates, families, caregivers, and direct support professionals to talk about what these investments would mean to them and why they are vital to Pennsylvanians with ID/A so they can live with the dignity and independence they deserve.

The Governor’s proposed $483 million in federal and state funding would provide more resources for home and community-based service providers, so they in turn can pay competitive rates to attract and retain the staff who provide these essential services. The proposal includes a $78 million investment of federal and state funds to serve an additional 1,500 Pennsylvanians with ID/A currently on the waitlist in the next fiscal year.

Governor Shapiro and Secretary Arkoosh recently met with Pennsylvanians with ID/A, caregivers, and advocates to hear how the proposed investments in his 2024/25 budget would address the needs of Pennsylvanians with ID/A by expanding access to support home and community-based services and addressing the shortage of direct support professionals.

Watch Secretary Arkoosh’s visit to Vision for Equality in Philadelphia

Watch Secretary Arkoosh’s visit to Penn-Mar Human Services in York County

Read additional materials below:

Read what Pennsylvanians are saying: 

The Department of Human Services (DHS) has released the report Recommendations for Improving Self-Direction in Community HealthChoices. The purpose of this report is to provide Community HealthChoices (CHC) stakeholders with identified barriers and recommendations to improve and increase the use of self-direction in CHC. View the report here.

Photo by visuals on Unsplash

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.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

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.