The Arc of Pennsylvania, along with partners, Rehabilitation and Community Providers Association (RCPA), United Cerebral Palsy of Pennsylvania, Inc., (UCP), and Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability (PAR), announced that after lengthy and candid discussions with the Office of the Governor and the Department of Public Welfare relating to the Chapter 51 (Home and Community-Based) Regulations, they reached agreement on important changes to the Department’s policies regarding the vacancy factor and the retention factor. The agreement also provides relief from the potential application of a rate adjustment factor (RAF) through FY 16-17. (A RAF allows the Commonwealth to cut rates midyear.)
Obtaining these changes in the Department’s policies are part of their joint efforts to secure access by individuals with disabilities and their families to high-quality supports and services throughout Pennsylvania. The agreement will better enable providers to maintain and sustain services and supports that meet the needs of each individual consumer.
An improved vacancy factor better recognizes the continuing costs that providers must incur whenever a consumer is absent from his/her residence due to medical or therapeutic reasons. A retention factor affords the ability to retain much-needed savings up to 2% without cuts to their future payment rates.
Funding for the proposals identified in this agreement will not reduce the Commonwealth’s and the Department’s current financial commitment to reducing the waiting list for accessible and high quality person centered services for Individuals with an intellectual disability and their families in state fiscal year 2014-2015. As evidenced by recent budgets, the Department believes that addressing the waiting list is important, and, in future fiscal years, the Department will follow the normal budget process to consider opportunities for new waiting list initiatives.
We recognize and appreciate the support and assistance of Governor Corbett in reaching this resolution. The agreement also reflects that our work is not done. Included in the agreement are provisions to continue discussions with the Commonwealth on the remaining challenges that Chapter 51 poses for supporting individuals and their families.
Source: The Arc of Pennsylvania