A Slice of Pie is an ongoing publication keeping our readers informed about important public policy issues. It is the mission of the Policy Information Exchange to educate and inform Pennsylvanians with disabilities, their families and advocates, and the general public, regarding public policy issues and to further the exchange of policy information between the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council and federal, state, and local policy makers. The Policy Information Exchange is funded in part by the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council.

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State News+

State Budget

In February, when Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett delivered his budget request for the 2013-14 fiscal year (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014), he highlighted the need for increased funding to serve more people with intellectual and physical disabilities in the community. He spoke of his visit to Vision for Equality and introduced two young women with intellectual disabilities who were in the House Chamber for his speech. The final budget includes some, but not all of the Governor’s proposed increase and restores some funding that was slated for cuts.

The Governor signed the $28.375 billion state budget bill for 2013-14 a few hours before the June 30 deadline. Total spending is increased $645 million – 2.3 percent – over 2012-13. This is $64 million less than the governor’s budget request in February.

Efforts to address a number of key issues at the same time as the budget were unsuccessful. Pension reform for state workers, transportation funding and liquor store privatization bills all will have to wait until the General Assembly returns in the fall. Of particular concern to the disability community, legislation on the expansion of Medicaid will also have to wait. An effort to include a name change for the Department of Public Welfare as part of the budget package also failed. For more information on these pieces, see the Bills of Interest section below.

Below PIE summarizes some items of interest to the disability community in the final budget. Items marked with an asterisk are different than what the Governor proposed in February. All amounts are state general funds, unless labeled otherwise. For more information, contact PIE at The Arc of Pennsylvania office at 717-234-2621 or pie@thearcpa.org.

Department of Public Welfare

Intellectual Disability Waivers: State funding is increased by $19,867,000. This includes:

  • $14 million for 380 people on the county emergency waiting list and who require services immediately or within six months;
  • $4.5 million for 700 graduates from special education programs; and
    • $1.4 million for 100 people who currently reside in a state Intellectual Disability Center.

Neither an increase nor a decrease is provided for provider rates.

Medical Assistance Expansion: Efforts to include this in the budget package failed. No decision has yet been made. See Bills of Interest section (HB 1492) below for information on legislative efforts to move forward with the expansion.

Autism*: The Governor proposed, and the final budget includes, an increase in state funds of $1,497,000 to serve an additional 118 people. Funding for mini‐grants to individuals and families remains at $500,000 and funding for the three regional autism centers remains at $800,000 each. The final autism line item included an extra $440,000 in total state funds which is intended for two special initiatives, one located in Philadelphia and the other in Pittsburgh.

State Centers*: Institutions for people with intellectual disabilities will receive a $13.2 million increase for maintenance of current program.

Community Base Funding Intellectual Disabilities: There is a small reduction in base funding.

Services to Persons with Disabilities*: This line item includes funding for the Independence, OBRA and Commcare Waivers as well as specialized services in nursing homes. The line item would have received an additional $15,758,000 in state funds to serve an additional 1,280 people under the Governor’s proposal. The dollar amount of the increase was cut in half in the House budget. The final budget put $1.1 million back. This amounted to a $26 million (13.3%) increase in state funds in the final budget as compared to the 2012-13 budget.

Attendant Care*: The Attendant Care line item, which includes both the Attendant Care Waiver and Act 150, would have received an additional $4,125,000 to serve an additional 400 people under the Governor’s proposed budget. The increase was cut in half in the House budget. The final budget put back a small amount. In the final budget, the overall increase in state funds compared to last year is 4.8%.

Adult Protective Services*: The Governor’s budget included $2,391,000 in state funds and an additional $1,304,000 in federal funds for a total of $3,695,000 in the General Government Operations line and $80,000 in the Information Technology line. We are told that the final budget includes a little more than that.

Human Services Block Grant: This block grant was created in the 2012-13 fiscal year and currently exists in 20 counties. It combines funds for a number of programs— Community Mental Health, the Behavioral Health Services Initiative, Intellectual Disability Base funds, County Child Welfare, Homeless Assistance, the Human Services Development Fund and Act 152 Drug and Alcohol—into one block grant and gives the county flexibility on how the money is spent. In 2013-14, the block grant is receiving the same amount as in 2012-13—a 10% cut from 2011-12. The Governor’s budget provided for statewide expansion, but HB 1075, a bill that passed as part of the budget package, calls for expansion to 30 counties.

Mental Health: The budget includes funding for 90 CHIPPs (people out of state hospitals and into the community). It is part of the Human Services Block Grant—see above—which is funded at the same reduced level as in 2012-13.

Behavioral Health: BHSI is part of the Human Services Block Grant—see above—which is funded at the same reduced level as in 2012-13.

Aging Waiver*: The Governor proposed an increase for the Home and Community Based Services line item which includes the Aging Waiver and the LIFE program. The Governor also proposed an additional $21 million from the lottery, including an $8.1 million initiative to serve an additional 1,550 people. While the Governor seemed to tie these additional lottery funds to the privatization of the lottery, the final budget package does not. The appropriation for Home and Community Based Services in the final budget is nearly $57 million less than the Governor’s request. Some of that cut is because DPW lowered the amount needed by $20 million due to updated caseload and cost projections. We are told that the explanation for the rest of the reduction, $36 million, is that it was shifted to another funding source.

Nursing Homes*: Nursing homes receive a 2% rate increase at a cost of $44.3 million. Over objections from advocates, the budget again uses more than $309 million in lottery funds for nursing homes. In addition, the General Assembly included $7 million in state funding for a one-time payment to qualified private nursing homes.

Early Intervention (Birth to age 3): DPW’s Early Intervention program received a $4.3 million supplemental appropriation in 2012-13 and an increase in 2013-14.

Medical Assistance Transportation*: Funding is increased to cover increased use and trip costs. The 8.4% increase is larger than the Governor’s original proposal.

Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD): While state funding would be reduced, the reduction is more than offset by an increase in Tobacco Settlement Funds, resulting in a net increase.

Cost Saving: The cost saving measures noted in the Governor’s proposed DPW budget include imposing time limits on payments to injured workers in state hospitals, state centers and youth development centers ($3.5 million to be saved); enhanced auditing of providers ($20 million projected savings); and outsourcing third party liability collections ($1.5 million to be saved). They include a projected $8.3 million saved by imposing premiums on families of one (sometimes called “loophole families”). Efforts last year to impose co-payments on these families were unsuccessful.

Federal MA Matching Rate: The federal share of Medicaid funds dropped from 54.28% to 53.52%, costing the state $109 million in 2013-14.

Department of Aging

Aging Services: There is $20 million from the lottery to take 5,400 people off the waiting list for OPTIONS home and community based services, $2 million for 193 people aging out of the attendant care program and $5 million for Area Agencies on Aging. There is also $2 million in lottery funds which will go to Senior Centers.

Department of Labor and Industry

Transfer to Vocational Rehabilitation Fund (OVR state match), Supported Employment, Centers for Independent Living (CILs), and Assistive Technology Demonstration and Training (lending library): All of these programs are funded at the same level as 2012-13, which is an actual decrease from several years ago.

Assistive Technology Devices* (alternative financing program): Received an increase from $244,000 to $400,000.

Department of Community and Economic Development

PA Accessible Housing Program: The PAHP program is part of the Keystone Communities line item which received a $500,000 increase.

Department of Education

Special Education: Special education is once again level funded. Advocates note that this sixth year of flat funding for the special education subsidy will force local school districts to cover the cost of living increases. This line item received some attention in budget debates.

Early Intervention (for ages 3 to 5): Will receive a $10,800,000 supplemental appropriation in the 2012-13 fiscal year and an increase of $5 million in the 2013-14 fiscal year to serve 1,500 additional children.

Approved Private Schools: Approved Private Schools are level funded.

PA Charter School for the Deaf and Blind* (sic): Charter schools for children who are deaf and blind will receive a small increase to continue the current program.

Department of Health

AIDS Programs and Services for Children with Special Needs: Both of these programs are level funded.

Sickle Cell*: The Governor had recommended level funding, but the General Assembly added $60,000, a 5% increase.

AIDS Special Pharmaceuticals are level funded in state dollars, but an increase in Pharmacy Rebates is anticipated, resulting in a net gain.

Epilepsy Support* and Tourette Syndrome*: The Governor had proposed eliminating funding for these two programs, but the final budget restored and increased funding. Epilepsy state funding is increased by 5% to $550,000 compared to 2012-13 and Tourette funding is doubled to $150,000.

Department of Insurance 

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)*: Governor Corbett’s February proposal would have increased funding for CHIP by $13.5 million (13 percent). His proposal included an additional $1 million for outreach and funding to cover an additional 9,330 children. But enrollment is declining in CHIP. The final budget therefore includes a smaller increase of $9.5 million.

Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs 

Assistance to Drug and Alcohol Programs: State funding is level, but federal funding decreases slightly.

Department of Transportation 

Shared Ride Program for Persons with Disabilities: Funding for the PWD program comes through Act 44 which may be repealed as part of the transportation reform package. If that happens, an alternative funding source must be found. Also, there is discussion about adding Allegheny County to the counties that can participate in the PWD program.

Bills of Interest

Below we summarize some bills of interest to the disability community from the new 2013-2014 session. For more information about these or any other state bills, go to www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/session.cfm. At the top of the page is a box labeled, “Find Legislation By”, choose “Bill #”, then enter the bill number and click on “Go”.

HB 2. Introduced by Representative Bernie O’Neill (R-Bucks). This bill would, among other things, establish the state’s first special education funding formula in over 20 years. It passed both chambers and was signed by the Governor on April 25, 2013 becoming Act No. 3 of 2013. See also SB 470 introduced by Senator Patrick Browne (R-Lehigh).

HB 21. Introduced by Representative Glen Grell (R-Cumberland). This bill would allow psychologists to testify on insanity. It is similar to HB 1405 from last session, which passed the House unanimously, but did not receive third and final passage in the Senate before the end of the last session. HB 21 was voted out of the House Judiciary Committee on June 11, 2013 and given first consideration by the full House.

HB 31. Introduced by Representative Mauree Gingrich (R-Lebanon). The bill addresses abuse and neglect of people who are care-dependent. It passed the House on March 12, 2013 and has been sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

HB 252. Introduced by Representative RoseMarie Swanger (R-Lebanon). HB 252 would establish the Pennsylvania Long-term Care Council in the law. It passed the House on March 20, 2013. It was voted out of the Senate Aging and Youth Committee on June 11, 2013 and given first consideration by the full Senate.

HB 315. Introduced by Representative Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks). This bill would restore the 10% cut from a number of human service programs in the current 2012-13 budget. Programs affected include mental health, intellectual disabilities community base program, behavioral health and Human Services Development Fund. The bill was reported out of the House Human Services Committee on February 12, 2013 and given first consideration by the full House. It has been laid on the table. See also, HB 461.

HB 461. Introduced by Representative Jerry Knowles (R-Berks). This bill would expand the Human Service Block Grant program from the current 20 counties to all 30 of the counties which applied to be considered. It was voted out of the House Health Committee on June 3, 2013 and given first consideration by the full House. Like HB 315, which also deals with the Human Services Block grant, the bill is currently tabled.

HB 806. Introduced by Representative Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks). This bill would eliminate the Human Service Block Grant pilot program and create a different mechanism for counties to reallocate unused human services dollars. It was passed out of the House Human Services Committee and given first consideration by the full House on June 11, 2013. It is currently in the House Rules Committee.

HB 1114. Introduced by Representative Thomas P. Murt (R-Montgomery). This bill would establish a bill of rights for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It was introduced and referred to the House Human Services Committee on April 3, 2013.

HB 1183. Introduced by Representative Mark B. Cohen (D-Philadelphia). This bill would establish in law the Governor’s Office for People with Disabilities, Cabinet for People with Disabilities and Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities. It was introduced and referred to the House Human Services Committee April 15, 2013. See also SB 280 introduced by Senator Christine Tartaglione (D-Philadelphia).

HB 1240. Introduced by Representative Thomas P. Murt (R-Montgomery). It would provide for Medical Assistance payment for cognitive rehabilitation therapy. It was introduced and referred to the House Health Committee April 22, 2013.

HB 1287. Introduced by Representative Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster). The bill would remove the Medicaid requirement that psychiatrists receive pre-authorization before prescribing medication. It is aimed at reducing the delay that may be experienced in refilling medications. It passed the full House on June 5, 2013 and has been sent to the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee.

HB 1472. Introduced by Representative Matthew E. Baker (R-Bradford). Among other actions, this bill would change the intermediate care facilities law to replace the term “mentally retarded” with the accepted term “intellectual disability.” The bill was voted out of the House Health Committee, given first consideration by the full House and sent to the Rules Committee on June 5, 2013.

HB 1492. Introduced by Representative Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks). The bill would allow Pennsylvania to participate in the Medicaid expansion provided for in the Affordable Care Act. It includes protections for Pennsylvania including the ability to drop the program if the federal commitment to reimbursement is not maintained. The bill was referred to the House Human Services Committee on June 11, 2013. The Senate included Medicaid expansion in a bill that was part of the budget process, but the House removed the language.

SB 1. Introduced by Senator John Rafferty (R-Berks). This is the comprehensive Transportation funding bill. It would provide funding for mass transit, though the House version provides less than the Senate. One of the provisions would add Allegheny to the counties served by the Shared Ride Program for People with Disabilities. It passed the Senate on June 5, 2013 and was voted out of the House Transportation Committee with amendments and given first consideration by the full House on June 27, but efforts to pass the bill before the summer recess failed.

SB 117. Introduced by Senator Greenleaf (R-Montgomery). This bill amends the law on guardianship of incapacitated people. Among the changes are those relating to end of life decisions. The bill was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 12, 2013, given first consideration by the full Senate and referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

SB 363. Introduced by Senator Lisa M. Boscola (D-Lehigh). This bill would amend the Election Code to, among other things, require that in selecting polling places, the county board of elections “shall ensure that the places selected are accessible by persons with physical disabilities.” The bill was introduced and referred to the Senate State Government Committee on January 31, 2013.

SB 428. Introduced by Senator Jay Costa (D-Allegheny). This bill provides for pooled trusts for people with disabilities. It was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and given first consideration by the full Senate on February 12, 2013. It is currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

SB 589. Introduced by Senator Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny). The bill would add Allegheny to the counties funded for the Shared Ride Program for Persons with Disabilities. It was introduced and referred to the Senate Transportation Committee on March 1, 2013.

SB 840. Introduced by Senator Bob Mensch (R-Bucks). This is one of several bills that would change the name of the Department of Public Welfare to the Department of Human Services. The bill was voted out of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, has been given two considerations by the full Senate and is currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee. See also HB 993. Introduced by Representative Thomas P. Murt (R-Montgomery) which was passed by the full House on July 1, 2013. An effort to include the name change language as part of the budget package failed when the House removed the language. House leaders expressed support for the concept, but said that they thought it should be a separate bill rather than part of the budget process.

SB 862. Introduced by Senator Andrew E. Dinniman (D-Chester). The bill would provide for therapy dogs on public transportation including buses and trains. It was voted out of the Senate State Government Committee and given first consideration by the full Senate on June 11, 2013 and is currently in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

SB 977. Introduced by Senator Patricia H. Vance (R-Cumberland). This bill would expand the human services block grant program to all counties on a voluntary basis. It was voted out of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee on June 4, 2013, given two considerations by the full Senate and sent to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

HR 226. Introduced by Representative Thomas R. Caltagirone (D-Berks). The resolution provides for a study of the Pennsylvania mental health system and “report back with specific recommendations for amendment and improvement, particularly as to how criminal defendants with mental illness are addressed by established procedures, policies and programs.” The resolution was adopted by the full House on May 13, 2013.

HR 316. Introduced by Representative W. Curtis Thomas (D-Philadelphia). This resolution congratulates Temple University’s Institute on Disabilities on its 40th anniversary. It was adopted on May 13, 2013.

SR 44. Introduced by Senator Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny). It honors the life of Evelyn R. Stypula, Acting Chair of the Governor’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities. It was introduced and adopted, March 11, 2013.

Futures Planning

The Office of Developmental Programs has begun a Futures Planning process. Internal and external work teams have been established “to build on prior strategic planning efforts to envision a ten-year future for our service system.” They are using “long-term goals to create a short-term plan with achievable action steps.” For more information, go to www.odpconsulting.net/odp-futures-planning that includes the documents produced by the Futures Planning teams and a link to submit input. To provide feedback, go to www.odpconsulting.net/odp-futures-planning/odp-futures-planning-feedback.

Aging & Attendant Care Waivers

The Office of Long Term Living in DPW has received approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to renew the Aging and Attendant Care waivers effective July 1, 2013 for five more years. The renewals reflect the amendments to each that have been approved since July 1, 2008, including changes to Service Coordination and Financial Management Services. One of the changes requires getting the results of background checks on applicants before they can start on the job for consumers who hire their own workers. A side-by-side display of changes and stakeholder comments is available at www.dpw.state.pa.us/dpworganization/officeoflongtermliving/S_001665. Click on Aging Waiver Comments or Attendant Care Waiver Comments. The side-by-side display will be removed when the new waivers are posted. View both renewed waivers in the A-Z Directory of Services, also on this page, under “A”.

OLTL & Aging Reorganization

The Office of Long Term Living (OLTL) and the PA Department of Aging (PDA) have both reorganized their structure and personnel. The OLTL is no longer under both the Department of Public Welfare (DPW) and PDA; it is now is fully within DPW. The PDA no longer shares oversight of OLTL with DPW. Both OLTL and PDA made changes in their Bureaus and Divisions, as well. View the revised organization charts at www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/organization_charts/717.

Special Ed Funding

Act 3 of 2013 created a Special Education Funding Commission which has begun its work. The commission consists of the majority and minority chairmen of the House and Senate Education committees, eight legislators, the secretaries of Education and Budget and the state deputy secretary for elementary and special education. The Chairs elected at the first meeting on May 15 are Senator Patrick Browne (R-Lehigh) and Representative Bernie O’Neill (R-Bucks). The commission will hold public hearings this summer. It has until November 30 to recommend a new funding formula to more effectively pay for special education throughout the state.

ODP Bulletins

The Office of Developmental Programs has issued two new Bulletins which can be seen at www.dpw.state.pa.us/publications/bulletinsearch/index.htm.

  • Participant Rights – Statement of Policy (6400-13-02) was issued on February 11, 2013 and was effective on February 9, 2013. The Bulletin establishes and publishes participant rights guidelines under incident management. Rescission of Class 3
  • Intellectual Disability Bulletins (6400-13-03) was issued on April 5, 2013 and was effective on March 30, 2013. The Bulletin rescinds various statements of policy that are no longer current.

OLTL Bulletins

The Office of Long Term Living has issued three new Bulletins which can be seen at www.dpw.state.pa.us/publications/bulletinsearch/index.htm.

  • Maintaining Waiver Eligibility While in an Institution (05/51/52/55/59-13-01) was issued on January 24, 2013 and was effective on that date. The Bulletin clarifies the allowable time that a participant may remain enrolled in a HCBS waiver program when the participant is then placed in a nursing facility or ICF/ORC.
  • Billing Instructions for HCBS providers (05/51/52/55/59-13-02) was issued on February 7, 2013 and was effective on January 26, 2013. The Bulletin provides an update on waiver procedure codes and billing.
  • Absence Policies in the Enhanced Older Adult Daily Living Center Program (03/41/55-13-03) was issued on March 22, 2013 and was effective on that date. The Bulletin provides absence policies in OLTL’s Enhanced Older Adult Daily Living Center Program.


In May, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the Legislative Reapportionment Commission’s second try at drawing new state legislative districts. The first map was struck down by the court in February 2012. As a result 2012 elections used the old 2001 maps. Political watchers believe that this new redistricting map may favor Republicans. Three Senate seats now held by Democrats are believed to be vulnerable: one in the 2014 election cycle, which could pit Senator Jim Ferlo (D-Allegheny) against Senator Randy Vulakovich (R-Allegheny). The other two seats that could be vulnerable in the 2016 election are in altered districts, currently held by Senators Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin) and John Wozniak (D-Cambria).

Legislative Changes

On June 4, two winners of state House special elections– Democrats Dan Miller and Kevin Schreiber– were sworn into office in the state House of Representatives. Representative Miller fills Allegheny County’s 42nd Legislative District seat vacated by Matt Smith, who was elected to the state Senate. Representative Schreiber fills York County’s 95th Legislative District seat vacated by Eugene DePasquale, who left to become state Auditor General.

DPW Secretary

In late June, the state Senate voted unanimously to confirm Beverly Mackereth as Secretary of the Department of Public Welfare. She had been the acting Secretary of the department since Gary Alexander left the position in mid-February. Secretary Mackereth previously served as Deputy Secretary for the Office of Children, Youth and Families. She had served four terms in the state House of Representatives and has served in a variety of health and human services positions.

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National News+

2013 Federal Budget

On March 26, 2013, the President signed a budget bill to fund the federal government until September 30, the end of the current fiscal year. Most programs were funded at the same level as the first half of the year—a small 0.6% increase over 2012. But many programs are feeling the effects of “sequestration,” across-the-board cuts, which went into effect on March 1. Mandatory Federal programs will not be receiving spending cuts, but discretionary programs will receive cuts in funding until Congress changes the laws that require it to take place.

In late March, Congress passed legislation that gives some departments in the U.S. government more flexibility in how sequestration cuts are implemented. The legislation also reduced the amount of budget cuts for some programs while increasing the amount of cuts in other programs. Overall, sequestration would lead to about a 5% reduction in discretionary program spending for a full year. But for FY 2013, because the cuts need to be achieved in seven months (March – September) rather than twelve, the amount of spending to be cut is roughly 9%. Programs affected by sequester include Special Education; Medicare providers (limited to a 2% cut), Developmental Disability Councils (PA’s percentage to be cut is 4.47%) and Protection and Advocacy agencies (PA’s Disability Rights Network percentage to be cut is 5.13%). Other programs not affected by sequestration include Social Security, SSI, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

2014 Federal Budget

On June 4, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution (H Con Res 25) setting spending caps that would limit discretionary spending for the 2014 fiscal year to $967 billion. The resolution assumes that, overall, sequestration (budget cutting) remains in place, except some defense cuts would be shifted to non-defense domestic programs. The Senate’s fiscal 2014 budget resolution of $1.058 trillion assumes repeal of sequestration as part of a broader, long-term deficit reduction agreement. Neither budget negotiations nor appropriations hearings have been held, making a budget deal unlikely before the start of the new fiscal year on Oct. 1, 2013.

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The Office of Developmental Programs has made several resources on Lifesharing available. The resources include a Spring 2013 newsletter Lifesharing Update, Youth Independent Living Services Guidelines, and a Lifesharing Directory. To access the resources, go to www.odpconsulting.net and click on Topic Info.

Autism Resource Center

The DPW Bureau of Autism Services has announced that a new statewide autism resource center will include a website, statewide toll-free number and community outreach specialists to provide information to the autism community. The Autism Services, Education, Resources & Training (ASERT) Collaborative will include the ASERT Statewide Resource Center which will offer information about local, regional and statewide events, professional training, community resources, services, and current research. Contact the ASERT Statewide Resource Center at 1-877-231-4244 or at www.PAautism.org.

Long Term Managed Care

The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (PCPID) has released its 2012 Report on long-term services and supports through managed care. It includes background information about managed care and offers 15 recommendations in four categories: disability stakeholder engagement, choice and self-determination, consumer protections and rights, and quality measurement, data collection and research. Read the 71 page report at www.acl.gov/NewsRoom/Publications/docs/PCPID_FullReport2012.pdf.

Medicaid Report

AARP Public Policy Institute has published a new report called Medicaid: A Program of Last Resort for People Who Need Long-Term Services and Supports. Nearly a third of older people are projected to deplete their life savings and turn to Medicaid for assistance as their ability to care for themselves declines. To read the six page report, go to www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/research/public_policy_institute/health/2013/medicaid-last-resort-insight-AARP-ppi-health.pdf .

CMS Guidance

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has issued “Guidance to States using 1115 Demonstrations or 1915(b) Waivers for Managed Long Term Services and Supports Programs” (MLTSS). To read the 18 page report, go to www.medicaid.gov/Medicaid-CHIP-Program-Information/By-Topics/Delivery-Systems/Downloads/1115-and-1915b-MLTSS-guidance.pdf. The guidance encourages states to include both home and community based services and institutional programs in the managed care capitation rate.

Mental Health Site

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has launched www.MentalHealth.gov as an online resource for people looking for information about mental health. This website provides information about the signs of mental illness, how individuals can seek help, and how communities can host conversations about mental health. The website also features videos from a number of individuals sharing their stories about mental illness and recovery.

Medicaid Buy-In

Mathematica Policy Research has submitted its final Medicaid Buy-In report, Enrollment, Employment, and Earnings in the Medicaid Buy-In Program, 2011. The report is part of the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG), which provided more than $450 million to strengthen state infrastructures in promoting and supporting employment for people with disabilities. The size of state MIG programs varied, from fewer than 50 enrollees to nearly 20,000. Pennsylvania’s program, called Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD), is one of the five largest programs with 35,946 enrollees in 2011. To read the report, go to www.mathematica-mpr.com/publications/PDFs/health/medicaid_buyin_enrollment.pdf.

Housing and Olmstead

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued new guidance about the decision of the US Supreme Court in Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999) and how it affects recipients of federal financial assistance from HUD. The guidance was issued to encourage housing providers to support Olmstead implementation by increasing the integrated housing opportunities that are available for individuals with disabilities who are transitioning from, or at serious risk of entering, institutions, hospitals, nursing homes, adult care facilities, and other restrictive, segregated settings. To read the guidance, go to www.portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=OlmsteadGuidnc060413.pdf

Housing Market

Every two years the Technical Assistance Collaborative and the CCD Housing Task Force publish a study, Priced Out, which documents the housing crisis for people with disabilities. The study compares average HUD fair market rents for one-bedroom and efficiency apartments with the average SSI benefit for a person with a disability living in the community. The study provides data for all states and housing market areas across the nation, and includes information on how to use the data for housing advocacy. To read the report, go to www.tacinc.org/media/33368/PricedOut2012.pdf.

Inclusion Report

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) has issued the 2013 Case for Inclusion, an annual report that tracks the progress of community living standards for Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). Pennsylvania’s scorecard shows the numbers served and the cost in 2011. The 2013 report, and data from all previous reports since 2006, is available on UCP’s website at www.ucp.org/the-case-for-inclusion/2013/.

Compensation Report

On April 16 the PA Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) released its report entitled Financial and Compensation Information Concerning Nonprofit and For-profit Human Service Providers. The study was to include recommendations to address the unmet service needs of individuals and increase the efficiency and quality of the direct delivery system. However, LBFC said that the information it was asked to compile for the report was not sufficient to lead to recommendations. To read the report, go to www.lbfc.legis.state.pa.us/ under Health & Welfare in the Reports Released section. A hard copy is available by calling (717) 783-1600 or by email at info@lbfc.legis.state.pa.us.

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Building Bridges

The 2013 Aging/Intellectual Disability Cross-Systems Conference will be held on September 17-18 in Camp Hill, PA, at the Radisson Hotel. It is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. The registration deadline is September 10, 2013. To register, go to www.ltltraingpa.org or call (717) 541-4214.

Living Well Conference

The Center for Independent Living of Central PA (CILCP), PA Statewide Independent Living Council (PA SILC) and Three Rivers Center for Independent Living (TRCIL) are hosting the first Living Well With A DisabilitySM Conference & Expo from August 23-26. 2013 at the Lancaster Marriott and Lancaster County Convention Center. Attendees will test new assistive technology, gain knowledge from national speakers, dive into the action of adaptive sports and meet celebrity guests with disabilities. People can register for the conference through July 26, 2013. The expo, held August 24 and 25, is free and open to the public, and attendees can register online. For full details about the Living Well With A Disability Conference & Expo, visit www.livingwellwithadisabilityexpo.org. For the latest updates, connect with Living Well With A Disability Conference & Expo on Facebook and follow updates on Twitter.

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