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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 14-2637



Availability of Amendment to the Bureau of Autism Services' Adult Autism Waiver with Accompanying Home and Community-Based Settings Transition Plan

[44 Pa.B. 7964]
[Saturday, December 20, 2014]

 The Department of Human Services (Department) is making available for public review and comment the Bureau of Autism Services' proposed Adult Autism Waiver (AAW) Amendment and accompanying transition plan. The purpose of this amendment is to increase the number of recipients served in the waiver, add reserved capacity for people who have a protective services plan under the Adult Protective Services Act (APS) (35 P. S. §§ 10210.101—10210.704), which specifies that a need for long-term support and are determined eligible for the AAW, as well as add the transition plan for home and community-based settings that are specific to the waiver.


 To receive Federal matching funds for home and community-based waiver services, the Department must receive approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the number of participants to be served during each year of the approved waiver. The budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014-2015 granted funding to serve an additional 100 individuals in the AAW. As a result, the number of participants served at any one time will increase from 418 to 518 in FY 2014-2015 and FY 2015-2016. The amendment will also add reserved capacity for five participants who identified as meeting the APS reserve criteria.

 CMS published a final rule at 79 FR 2948 (January 16, 2014) for home and community-based services with an effective date of March 17, 2014. This final rule amends the Medicaid regulation for home and community-based services waivers under section 1915(c) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.A. § 1396n(c)) to provide requirements regarding characteristics of settings that are home and community-based as well as settings that may not be home and community-based. See 42 CFR 441.301(c)(4) and (5) (relating to contents of request for a waiver). The final rule requires that a transition plan be submitted with each waiver amendment. (See 42 CFR 441.301(c)(6).) The proposed transition plan for the AAW includes the steps that the Department anticipates taking to achieve compliance in the following areas: unallowable settings, settings that are presumed not eligible; qualifications for all home and community-based settings; and requirements for provider-owned or controlled home and community-based residential settings.

Fiscal Impact

 It is anticipated there will be an approximate cost to the Commonwealth of $3.4 million ($1.6 million in State funds) in FY 2014-2015 and $4.2 million ($2.0 million State funds) in FY 2015-2016.

Public Comment

 The Department has made the Adult Autism Waiver Amendment and accompanying transition plan available at aboutdhs/waiverinformation/adultaustismwaiver/index.htm.

 Interested persons are invited to submit written comments regarding this notice, the amendment and the proposed transition plan for the AAW. Comments should be addressed to Lea Sheffield, Department of Human Services, Bureau of Autism Services, Office of Developmental Programs, 625 Forster Street, Room 605, Harrisburg, PA 17120. Comments may also be submitted to the Department at Comments must be submitted by February 2, 2015.

 The Department will also hold two webinars to receive comments on the proposed transition plan for the AAW. Dates, times and links for registration to participate in these webinars are as follows:

 January 14, 2015, 1 p.m. at

 January 15, 2015, 9 a.m. at

 To assist the Department in accurately capturing verbal comments, individuals are asked to submit a written copy of their comments by emailing them or mailing them to the address previously provided.

 Persons with a disability who require an auxiliary aid or service may submit comments using the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service at (800) 654-5984 (TDD users) or (800) 654-5988 (voice users).

 Copies of this notice, the waiver amendment and the transition plan may be obtained at the local Mental Health/Intellectual Disability (MH/ID) County Program, Administrative Entity or regional Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) in the corresponding regions:

 • Western Region: Piatt Place, Room 4900, 301 5th Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, (412) 565-5144

 • Northeast Region: Room 315, Scranton State Office Building, 100 Lackawanna Avenue, Scranton, PA 18503, (570) 963-4749

 • Southeast Region: 801 Market Street, Suite 5071, Philadelphia, PA 19107, (215) 560-2242 or (215) 560-2245

 • Central Region: Room 430, Willow Oak Building, P. O. Box 2675, DGS Annex Complex, Harrisburg, PA 17105, (717) 772-6507

 Contact information for the local MH/ID County Program can be found at or contact the previously referenced regional ODP.


Fiscal Note: 14-NOT-928. (1) General Fund; (2) Implementing Year 2014-15 is $1,600,000; (3) 1st Succeeding Year 2015-16 is $2,000,000; 2nd Succeeding Year 2016-17 through 5th Succeeding Year 2019-20 are $0; (4) 2013-14 Program—$16,487,000; 2012-13 Program—$13,000,000; 2011-12 Program—$12,194,000; (7) Autism Intervention and Services; (8) recommends adoption. Funds have been included in the budget to cover this increase.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 14-2637. Filed for public inspection December 19, 2014, 9:00 a.m.]

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