Communiqués for Providers
DHS-contracted providers are encouraged to visit this page frequently. Announcements concerning policy changes and best-practices along with information dealing with conferences and staff development opportunities will be posted. Content that may be of interest to providers in more than one service area is posted at the top of the page. Content that may be of interest to providers in specific service areas is posted under those headings.
All DHS-contracted Providers
How to Welcome Congolese Refugees, May 22, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Learn about the life and culture of the refugees who will soon arrive in Allegheny County from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and how best to prepare to provide services to our new neighbors.
Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History $1 Admission Offer
DHS staff and DHS-contracted provider staff are invited to visit the Carnegie Museums of Art and/or Natural History throughout 2013 for an admission fee of $1 per person for up to four individuals per visit. A special reduced-price admission fee to all four of the Carnegie Museums (Art, Natural History, Science Center and Warhol) is available for holders of EBT/ACCESS cards. Please make sure your consumers know about this offer.
Helping Children Cope with Violence - What Parents Can Do
In light of recent national tragedies the National Institute of Mental Health released this document to provide information to parents.
News from the Federal Government
Health care law allows consumers to easily find and compare options starting in 2014
New rule will expand mental health and substance use disorder benefits to 62 million Americans.
News From the State Government
The Bureau of Human Services Licensing (BHSL) strongly recommends that individuals and all licensed residential settings review emergency preparedness guidance and plans, and prepare to apply emergency preparedness strategies in advance of any natural disaster including severe winter weather.
Medical Assistance Eligibility Verification System (EVS) changes effective January 1, 2013
Changes that will streamline eligibility, benefits and claims data are now in effect. This Pennsylvania Community Provider Association Info document provides the details and links to related resources.
MA Reinstatement Letter
DPW is sending a document, printed on blue paper, to those who had their MA terminated in the past year to give them the chance to fight to have their coverage restored. Find details about how you can assist them at the link above.
Consolidation of Child Residential and Intellectual Disability Licensing and Inspection functions, July 1, 2012
For facilities and agencies subject to 55 Pa. Code Chapters 2380, 2390, 3800, 6400 and 6500
Bureau of Human Services Licensing Licensing Reference Guide to help agencies better understand how to interact with BHSL.
DPW Press Release re: Delay of PH95 co-pay requirement, issued October 5, 2012
MA co-pay notice to families
As of October 5, 2012, families of children with disabilities will not be required to pay the proposed PH95 MA loophole co-pay. The matter is not totally resolved since a premium related to these services is under discussion.
Termination of General Assistance (August 1, 2012) FAQ
Find answers to basic questions about the ending of the Pa. General Assistance program on August 1, 2012.
Notice of Class-Action Lawsuit
You may be working with consumers who may be entitled to educational benefits if they can answer "YES" to the following two questions.
- Did you live at the Auberle Group Home at any time from October 14, 2008 to January 1, 2011?
- Did you attend school in the “alternative education” building in the “transition classroom” for Auberle students? (This classroom was located down the hill from Auberle and sometimes called “East End Academy.”)
More information about the class-action lawsuit T.P. v. McKeesport Area School District, Case No. GD-10-019236.
Definition of "recovery from mental disorders and substance use disorders" updated
SAMHSA announced a new working definition of recovery from mental disorders and substance use disorders as: A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.
Frequently Asked Questions re: behavioral health treatment parity
Issued by the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Labor, these FAQs discuss mental health/addiction treatment parity. Discussed in particular is the requirement that plans subject to the parity law shall not use stricter preauthorization or utilization management procedures for mental health or addiction treatment services generally than for physical health services.
Important changes to Medical Assistance benefits begin Jan. 3, 2012
The Department of Public Welfare is making a change to Medical Assistance prescription drug benefit. Please read this notice carefully.
Mental Health First Aid Training
One in four Americans lives with a mental health problem each year. Yet, far too many - up to two-thirds - go without treatment. Just as CPR training helps a layperson without medical training assist an individual following a heart attack, Mental Health First Aid training helps a layperson assist someone experiencing a mental health crisis. Learn more about available trainings on the Allegheny Health Choices Inc. Mental Health First Aid webpage.
Combining Multivariate Mental Health and Substance Use Assessment
The Drug Use Screening Inventory-Revised (DUSI-R) remains the gold standard of validated self-report multivariate mental health and substance use assessment and continues to be adopted as the instrument of choice around the world.
Used in more than 20 countries including the U.S. and Australia, and those in Central/South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Available in 15 languages (youth and adult versions). Over 50 peer-reviewed publications.
Data-based Planning for Effective Prevention - State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroups
Results of work done by SAMSHA-sponsored state epidemiolgoical outcomes workgroups (SEOWs) charged with identifying data-based processes that result in effective prevention of substance abuse and mental, emotional and behavioral (MEB) disorders.
Technical Assistance for FY 2012-13 DHS Contracts
Annual-Contract Technical Assistance is offered at the links below via WebEx. Each recording includes information on insurance requirements, completing budgets, MPER service-offering roll-over and other contract-related duties.
Area Agency on Aging 35 mins.
Office of Behavioral Health - Drug and Alcohol Services 52 mins.
Office of Behavioral Health - Mental Health Services 43 mins.
Office of Children, Youth and Families and Juvenile Court 30 mins.
Office of Community Services 45 mins.
Office of Intellectual Disability 40 mins.
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Communiques for Providers of Drug and Alcohol Services have moved.
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