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American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Home and Community Based Service (HCBS) Spending Plan for Pennsylvania

PA State offices submit plan to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to help stakeholders and are waiting for approval

PCCYFS was made aware by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) that they are waiting on federal approval from plans they submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the Home and Community Based Service (HCBS) spending plan in the amount $150 million to be divided between state offices. This funding would be limited to services that qualify for HCBS funding as determined by CMS under section 9817 of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

The information below is specific to PCCYFS providers and the populations they serve.

Kristen Houser, Deputy Secretary of the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) reported that in the plan that OMHSAS submitted to CMS, there were priority areas listed which are as follows:

  • Support for workforce shortage recruitment/retention with a onetime payment.
  • Rates to support Drug and Alcohol providers to meet ASAM clinical requirements (staff training and certification).
  • Costs to support training for Certified Peer Specialists in PA to help augment the workforce.
  • Invest in training clinicians in trauma treatment modalities to be healing centered and more recovery oriented.
  • Invest in integration of telehealth by purchasing technology and obtain best practice training.
  • Enable up to 16 counties/county joinders to utilize Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) and receive funding to train judges and judicial staff if counties choose to pursue.
  • Funding for Electronic Health Records throughout the state hospital system to ensure proper documentation and integration with other disciplines such as physical health.

Deputy Secretary Houser reported that DHS is waiting to hear back from CMS regarding what CMS would identify as eligible/covered behavioral health services for HCBS funding.

Kristin Ahrens, Deputy Secretary of the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) reported that their priorities requested in the plan they submitted to CMS are as follows:

  • Resources to address staffing shortages for short and long-term solutions.
  • Increase in access and use of technology for providers and Supports Coordination Organizations.
  • Support for individuals on ODP’s waiting list (who don’t receive services from ODP) in the form of respite and training.
  • Strengthening staffing at the county level.
  • Peer to peer training surrounding reengagement, trauma, self-directed services, and life sharing.

As soon as state offices hear from CMS, they will make stakeholders aware of more details. OMHSAS said they are working to develop options for funding as they would like to not have a lengthy procurement/application process for stakeholders. PCCYFS will be updating this posting when we learn more information.