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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 21-295



Availability of the Renewal of the Office of Developmental Programs' Adult Autism Waiver

[51 Pa.B. 1087]
[Saturday, February 27, 2021]

 The Department of Human Services (Department) is making available for public review and comment, Appendices A—H of the Office of Developmental Programs' (ODP) request for renewal of the Adult Autism Waiver.


 Home and Community-Based Waivers permitted under section 1915(c) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.A. § 1396n(c)) are approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for a 5-year renewal period. The current Adult Autism Waiver expires on June 30, 2021; therefore, the proposed Adult Autism Waiver renewal is to be submitted to CMS no later than April 1, 2021.

 In the request for renewal of the Adult Autism Waiver, the Department proposes the following substantive changes to Appendices A—H effective July 1, 2021:

 • Promote health, wellness and safety by adding Homemaker/Chore as a new service.

 • Support individuals with complex needs through the addition of reserved capacity for individuals that are discharged from a State center and individuals that are disenrolled from the Adult Autism Waiver due to incarceration for more than 6 months.

 • Simplify the system through additional alignment of all Waivers administered by ODP. This includes:

 o Revising the service definitions, service limitations and provider qualifications for Day Habilitation, Residential Habilitation, Life Sharing and Respite services in the Adult Autism Waiver to align with the three other ODP-administered Waivers, where possible.

 o Removing Temporary Supplemental Services as a discrete service from the Adult Autism Waiver. Supplemental Habilitation is being added to residential services and 2:1 staff-to-individual ratios are being added to the Community Support and Respite services to meet the needs of individuals who require more intensive staffing.

 o Refining the definitions of critical incidents, protocols, oversight of medication administration, and oversight of restraints and restrictive procedures to comply with 55 Pa. Code Chapter 6100 (relating to services for individuals with an intellectual disability or autism) regulations and ODP Incident Management policy.

 o The alignment of quality improvement strategies to include the use of the Independent Monitoring for Quality process and the Plan-Do-Check-Act Model.

 • Develop and support qualified staff through revisions to provider qualifications for Supports Coordinator Supervisors and Supports Coordinators.

 • Promote choice and control by adding independent living technology as a component of Assistive Technology services.

 • Removing Therapies (Counseling and Speech/Language Therapy) to ensure that the Adult Autism Waiver does not duplicate services covered under the Medical Assistance State plan.

 The Department will be publishing a separate notice announcing the availability of Appendices I and J for public comment upon completion of the rate setting process.

Fiscal Impact

 It is anticipated that there will be no increase or decrease in costs associated with the proposed changes in Appendices A—H of the Adult Autism Waiver renewal.

Public Comment

 The proposed renewal of the Adult Autism Waiver is available at

 Interested persons are invited to submit written comments regarding the proposed Adult Autism Waiver renewal. Comments should be addressed to Laura Cipriani, Department of Human Services, Office of Developmental Programs, 625 Forster Street, Room 510, Harrisburg, PA 17120. Comments may also be submitted to the Department at using subject header ''AAW Renewal.''

 Comments received within 30 days of publication of this notice will be reviewed and considered for revisions to the proposed renewal of the Adult Autism Waiver.

 The Department will also hold a webinar to receive comments on the proposed renewal of the Adult Autism Waiver. Date, time and link for registration to attend this webinar are as follows:

March 16, 2021
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

 The following link must be used to register for the previously listed webinar: Anyone who is interested in participating in the webinars may do so by phone but will need a computer to provide comments during the webinars. To assist the Department in accurately capturing comments provided during the webinar, individuals are asked to submit a written copy of their comments by e-mail or mail to the previously listed address.

 Persons who require an auxiliary aid or service may submit comments using the Pennsylvania AT&T Relay Service by dialing 711 or by using one of the toll-free numbers: (800) 654-5984 (TDD users), (800) 654-5988 (voice users), (844) 308-9292 (Speech-to-Speech) or (844) 308-9291 (Spanish).

 Copies of this notice and the Adult Autism Waiver proposed renewal may be obtained by contacting the Office of Developmental Programs, Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, P.O. Box 2675, Harrisburg, PA 17105,


Fiscal Note: 14-NOT-1423. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 21-295. Filed for public inspection February 26, 2021, 9:00 a.m.]

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