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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 15-1129



Availability of Amendment to the Bureau of Autism Services' Adult Autism Waiver

[45 Pa.B. 2948]
[Saturday, June 13, 2015]

 The Department of Human Services (Department) is making available for public review and comment the Department's proposed Adult Autism Waiver (AAW) amendment. The purpose of the amendment is to incorporate changes that are being developed as part of the Commonwealth's implementation of the No Wrong Door requirement in the Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) and to remove references in the AAW to the International Statistical Classification of Disease and Related Health Problems (ICD-9) codes and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) IV.


 The Commonwealth is pleased to be a participant in the Federal BIP. Participation in BIP will allow the Department to build upon current efforts to rebalance the delivery of long-term services and supports. The Department will implement the required structural changes under BIP including improved access to services with a No Wrong Door approach.

 Currently, if an individual is interested in receiving AAW services he can call a toll-free number and provide demographic and contact information. The proposed amendment will also allow an individual who is interested in receiving AAW services to contact the Department through completing the Information and Referral Tool, which will be available on-line, or through the COMPASS system. The Department's COMPASS system is a web site that includes an online application that can be used to apply for many of the Department's programs.

 The AAW currently references the DSM-IV and the ICD-9 codes. Both have been replaced. As a result, the proposed amendment will revise the AAW to include that to be eligible for the AAW an individual must have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as ASD is defined in the most recent version of the DSM applicable at the time of the diagnosis.

 The Bureau of Autism Services has proposed an amendment to the AAW to reflect these changes.

Fiscal Impact

 In total funding, there is no anticipated fiscal impact in Fiscal Year (FY) 2015-2016 related to this amendment. However, the BIP is expected to provide Federal Funds of about $68,000 to replace State Funds of $68,000 in FY 2015-2016.

Public Comment

 The Department has made the proposed AAW amendment available at

 Copies of this notice and the AAW amendment are also available by contacting the Bureau of Autism Services as follows.

 Interested persons are invited to submit written comments regarding this notice and the proposed amendment 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 July 13, 2015.

 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 (TTD users) or (800) 654-5988 (voice users).


Fiscal Note: 14-NOT-952. (1) General Fund;

 (7) Autism Intervention and Services; (2) Implementing Year 2014-15 is -$366,000; (3) 1st Succeeding Year 2015-16 is -$68,000; 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) Medical Assistance—Autism Intervention Services; (2) Implementing Year 2014-15 is $366,000; (3) 1st Succeeding Year is $68,000; 2nd Succeeding Year 2016-17 through 5th Succeeding Year 2019-20 are $0; (4) 2013-14 Program—$13,457,000; 2012-13 Program—$12,208,000; 2011-12 Program—$15,701,000.

 (8) recommends adoption. The budget includes the impact of the decrease in State funds.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 15-1129. Filed for public inspection June 12, 2015, 9:00 a.m.]

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