Sunday, March 4, 2012

Rules changing for Providers to Aging and other PA HCBS Waiver Programs


Act 22 of 2011 gives Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare (DPW) the authority to issue new regulations without going through normally required administrative rule making procedures.  While there is some question as to whether this delegation of power to an administrative agency is legal under the PA Constitution, the DPW is now moving ahead to change various regulations under this new authority. 

A listing of draft “expedited regulatory changes” issued under Act 22 has recently been posted by DPW on its website.

One area of expedited regulatory change that is of particular concern to seniors are the revisions to the rules governing the qualification, participation and payment of providers to the Commonwealth’s Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) programs including the Aging Waiver.

The affected programs cost a little over a billion dollars in 2011. The Department estimates they the changes will save $7.138 million in State funds in FY 2011-2012.  A draft of the new regulations is available here.  DPW also has provided an overview of the changes in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. 
 
The Department is accepting comments from the public until Friday, March 9, 2012. Written comments regarding the HCBS provider qualifications and changes to the provider payment rates and methodology should be submitted to DPW by sending an e-mail to the Office of Long Term Living at RA-waiverstandard@pa.gov, use subject header ''HCBS Regulation,'' or by sending postal mail to the Office of Long-Term Living, Bureau of Policy and Strategic Planning, Forum Place, 5th Floor, 555 Walnut Street, Attention: HCBS Regulation, Harrisburg, PA 17101-1919.

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