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August 11, 2014Alerts

Public Forums on Home and Community-Based Waivers

Friends –

News from the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania –

The Department of Public Welfare (DPW) wants to hear from you.  DPW will be holding public forums across Pennsylvania to get your input into Pennsylvania’s transition plan to comply with new federal regulations around all of our home and community-based waiver programs.  Your input is critical.  Here is the announcement from DPW:

SAVE THE DATES:  DPW Public Forums for Pennsylvania’s Statewide Transition Plan for Home and Community-Based Settings (HCBS)

As you may be aware, on January 16, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule (HCBS).  Click here for information on the federal regulations.

The final rule, which became effective on March 17, 2014, amends the Medicaid regulations to provide requirements regarding person-centered plans of care, characteristics of settings that are home and community-based as well as settings that may not be home and community-based.  These requirements reflect CMS’s intent that individuals receiving services and supports through Medicaid waivers receive services in settings which are integrated in and support full access to the greater community.  All 1915(c) Medicaid waivers must comply with these requirements.  In Pennsylvania there are ten Medicaid 1915(c) home and community-based services waivers.  The waivers are:

  • Adult Autism Waiver (AAW)
  • AIDS
  • Aging
  • Attendant care
  • Consolidated
  • Independence
  • Infant, Toddlers and Families
  • OBRA
  • Person/Family-Directed Support (P/FDS)

The final rule recognized that a transition period may be needed in order for states with existing approved 1915(c) HCBS waivers to meet the provisions of the final rule.  The final rule provides the state with the opportunity to develop a transition plan that encompasses a period of up to five (5) years after the effective date of the regulation in order to meet the provisions of the final rule.  Pennsylvania must submit the transition plan to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for approval after at least a 30-day public comment period.  The Department has developed a proposed statewide transition plan for all ten 1915(c) Medicaid HCBS waivers that will be made available for public comment in the coming weeks.

The Department will hold five (5) public input meetings throughout the Commonwealth to receive comments on the proposed statewide transition plan.  The dates, times, and locations of the public input meetings are as follows:

Monday, August 25, 2014
Human Services Building
Homestead Grays Room (Lower Level)
One Smithfield Street
Pittsburgh, PA  15222
1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Erie City Hall
Main Council Chambers
626 State Street
Erie, PA  16501
9 a.m. to noon

Thursday, August 28, 2014
B3 – Scranton State Office Building
100 Lackawanna Ave
Scranton PA, 18503
1p.m. to 4 p.m.

Thursday, September 4, 2014
Vision for EQuality, Inc.
The Cast Iron Building
718 Arch Street, 6N
Philadelphia PA, 19106
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Friday, September 5, 2014
Dauphin County Case Management Unit (CMU)
1100 South Cameron Street
Harrisburg, PA 17104
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

If you are interested in providing verbal comments at a public input meeting, the Department asks that you register prior to the meeting date to help ensure there is adequate seating.  If there are capacity limitations, priority will be given to those who have registered to attend.   To register to present verbal comments or attend the public input meeting, go to: and follow the registration instructions.  In addition, individuals may also register by calling (717) 783-8412 or (800) 654-5984 (TDD users) with name and telephone number.  Information will be communicated shortly regarding how to offer comments and where to access the Department’s HCBS Transition Plan.

We look forward to hearing from you on this important issue.


Bev Mackereth, Secretary
Department of Public Welfare

Click here for a PDF version of this announcement.

All questions about the Department of Public Welfare’s public forums should be directed to:  (717) 783-8412 or (800) 654-5984 (TDD users).