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June 9, 2016Alerts

New Start Date for the Implementation of Community HealthChoices Program

Friends –

See below for an important announcement from the Secretary of the Department of Human Services and Secretary of the Department of Aging regarding Community HealthChoices.

Dear Colleagues:

We are writing to let you know of the commonwealth’s decision to lengthen the transition time for the start of our Community HealthChoices (CHC) program. Instead of beginning on January 1, 2017, the first phase (in the southwest) will now begin on July 1, 2017.

It is our ongoing commitment to ensure that everyone impacted by CHC understands and is comfortable with the program prior to it going live. Over the past year, the Department of Human Services and the Department of Aging have listened to and talked with countless consumers, caregivers, providers, advocates, elected officials, and other stakeholders; and received comments from scores of Pennsylvanians about the design, implementation, and ultimate transition to CHC. While the process has been deliberate, purposeful, and time-intensive, we believe that it has positively impacted and influenced the program.

The decision to extend our start date builds on this approach and allows more time for the 420,000 Pennsylvanians who will ultimately benefit from CHC to understand the program adjustments that will occur, including how access to and receipt of home- and community-based services will be improved. We will continue to work with all stakeholders, such as the Area Agencies on Aging and Centers for Independent Living, on a robust CHC education and outreach effort to ensure that we reach as many consumers and caregivers as possible. We are confident that with the additional time announced today we will successfully meet this important goal.

All other established CHC timeframes will remain the same. The selection of managed care companies, changes in the commonwealth’s information technology systems, and other changes are still proceeding on the same timeframe. The implementation of phases two and three (the southeast and remainder of the commonwealth) also remain on the previously announced timelines of 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Thank you for your continued support and participation in this process as we work to improve care coordination and better the lives of older Pennsylvanians and individuals with physical disabilities. To learn more about Community HealthChoices click here.


Ted Dallas
Department of Human Services

Teresa Osborne
Department of Aging