PCPA Alert: Children’s Behavioral Health Services

PCPA Alert
June 25, 2012
MHA Issues Family Alert for Children’s Behavioral Health Services
 
 
The Mental Health Association (MHA) in Pennsylvania has issued the following alert to families.
 

FAMILY ALERT: CHILDREN’S BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES

The Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania (DRN) has been made aware of recent policy and practice changes by the Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) and Behavioral Health Managed Care Organizations (BH-MCOs) that have limited and may continue to negatively impact children’s access to behavioral health services, for example, Summer Therapeutic Activities Programs, Behavioral Specialist Services, and Therapeutic Staff Support.  If you are having difficulty accessing a home-, community-, or school-based behavioral health service your child needs or has had in the past, or that has been prescribed for your child, please contact DRN’s Intake by calling 1-800-692-7443 or by sending an email to intake@drnpa.org.
 
Members are encouraged to be aware of the practice and policy changed referenced in the communication from the Disability Rights Network and to share, as appropriate, DRN contact information. Members are also encouraged to inform PCPA of local managed care and Medical Assistance Transportation Program policy and practice changes that impact access to or continuity of care. 

_____________________________________________________________________

Copyright 2012 – Pennsylvania Community Providers Association
2101 N Front St, Bldg 3, Ste 200, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-364-3280 – Fax: 717-364-3287

www.paproviders.org

Sign NDD to Help Stop Cuts

This January, all nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs face indiscriminate, across-the-board cuts of 8.4 percent through a “sequester.” Such cuts will devastate medical and scientific research; education and job training; infrastructure; public safety and law enforcement; public health; weather monitoring and environmental protection; housing and social services; and international relations.

Every local, state, and national organization in the country that cares about funding for any of these core government functions is urged to sign onto this letter—drafted by the Coalition for Health Funding (CHF) and other leaders of national coalitions—urging Congress to avoid the sequester by passing a “balanced approach to deficit reduction that does include further cuts to NDD programs.” 

Mental Health America is a member of the Coalition for Health Funding and has advocated for a solution to the nation’s financial woes that would maintain the solvency and leadership of our public health agencies, including SAMHSA.
 

For a copy of the letter, click here.

 To sign the letter, click here by COB June 22, 2012

 

You’ll be asked to provide your organization’s name as you want it listed on the letter, your contact name, contact e-mail, and the type of organization (national, state, local).  Only begin your organization’s name with “The” if you want your organization listed alphabetically under “T.”

 Below we’ve provided answers to FAQs about the sequester, its impact on NDD programs, and the letter to help you understand this effort and build support for the letter within your organization and throughout the community. If you have additional questions, please contact Emily Holubowich, Executive Director of the Coalition for Health Funding, at eholubowich@dc-crd.com.

 Given the volume of signatures expected across the diverse NDD community, we are unable to accommodate edits to the letter.

 Thank you for your consideration.

 

 NDD Letter FAQs

What is “NDD?”

Discretionary programs differ from “entitlement” programs that are funded rather automatically to meet the needs of all who qualify for them. Discretionary programs are those that Congress funds annually through the appropriations process. Congress retains complete discretion, or choice, on whether, and at what level, to fund discretionary programs.

Nondefense discretionary or “NDD” programs are core functions government provides for the benefit of all, including medical and scientific research; education and job training; infrastructure; public safety and law enforcement; public health; weather monitoring and environmental protection; natural and cultural resources; housing and social services; and international relations. Every day these programs support economic growth and strengthen the safety and security of every American in every state and community across the nation.

What is the sequester?

The Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-25) established caps on discretionary spending over 10 years, resulting in $1 trillion in cuts spread across defense and NDD programs. The law also directed a congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to identify an additional $1.2 trillion in budgetary savings over ten years. The failure of the bi-partisan “super committee” to come to an agreement on a deficit reduction plan triggered a “sequester” to take effect on January 2, 2013.

To sequester means to set apart or to take something away until a debt has been repaid. In the context of funding federal programs, sequester means imminent, across-the-board cuts to most programs, both defense and nondefense—in addition to the $1 trillion in cuts already sustained through the Budget Control Act’s discretionary caps.

There are a few discretionary programs that are exempt from the sequester in the first year, such as Pell grants in the Department of Education. Some mandatory programs (e.g., Medicaid) are also exempt from the sequester.

How will the sequester impact nondefense discretionary programs?

 In 2013, the sequester will mean an automatic 8.4 percent cut to program funding levels in 2013 for most NDD programs. These cuts will truly be across-the-board, with no departmental or agency control on how the sequester impacts individual programs.

Is there really any chance Congress will change its mind about the sequester?

Of course there is! There is already a vocal constituency clamoring to exempt defense programs from the sequester’s reach. Of course, removal of only defense programs from the sequester would place additional burden on NDD programs. Leaders of national coalitions and networks who joined together in crafting this letter believe it is critical for Congress to reverse course and work to achieve deficit reduction with a balanced approach that does not include further cuts to NDD programs.

 What can my organization do?

Your organization can sign onto this letter, urging Congress to, “find a balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not include further cuts to NDD programs.”

 Your organization can also help by sharing this letter with your networks and state/local chapters. All national, state and local organizations are encouraged to sign. The more sign-ons we have, the bigger our impact!

 

For a copy of the letter, click here.

 

To sign the letter, click here.

 

You’ll be asked to provide your organization’s name as you want it listed on the letter, your contact name, contact e-mail, and the type of organization (national, state, local).  Only begin your organization’s name with “The” if you want your organization listed alphabetically under “T.”

 

If you have additional questions, please contact Emily Holubowich, Executive Director of the Coalition for Health Funding, at eholubowich@dc-crd.com.


Act Now!

ACT NOW! Before it’s too late, take a stand to save community mental health and substance abuse funding!

Representative Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks) has introduced an Amendment (A10823) to the State Senate’s budget bill (SB 1466) that restores all of the human services funding cuts recommended by Governor Corbett in connection with his proposed Human Services Block Grant program. DiGirolamo’s amendment also puts these funds back into their original appropriations, thereby blocking the new block grant proposal.

Representative DiGirolamo needs your support and action TODAY! Help him pressure Republican leadership to maintain existing funding levels for community mental health and substance abuse services and stop the Human Services Block Grant!

Timing is critical. It is likely that Senate and House Republican leaders will make a “behind-the-scenes” deal on the budget—among each other—in the next few days and with Governor Corbett next week.

Republican leadership will ask all of the members of its Caucus to withdraw amendments to SB 1466 in favor of an omnibus amendment (one amendment that incorporates any change to the Senate Budget Bill that has been agreed upon via the negotiated deal). If their members do not agree to withdraw amendments, then the House will spend a day or two voting on many amendments to SB 1466—most of which will not pass. They hope to have a final budget in place by June 15.

ACT TODAY to save funding for mental health and substance abuse services:

Contact your House members and ask them to:

  • express their opposition to the block grant and support for maintaining the current mental health and substance abuse funding levels to Representative Bill Adolph, the House Republican Appropriations Chair, and to Representative Mike Turzai, the House Majority Leader.
  • express their opposition to the block grant and support for maintaining the current mental health and substance abuse funding levels in their respective caucus meetings on the budget
  • voice their support, when talking to leadership and within their caucus meetings, for Representative DiGirolamo’s amendment that restores the funding cuts and blocks the block grant.

In addition, please contact Representative DiGirolamo to let him know how much we appreciate his ongoing support. You can contact him at:

Honorable Gene DiGirolamo
Chairman, House Human Services Committee
49 East Wing
Harrisburg, PA 17120
(717) 783-7319
Fax: (717) 772-2414

gdigirol@pahousegop.com

Hon. Gene DiGirolamo
2424 Bristol Road
Neshaminy Valley Commons
Bensalem, PA 19020-6002
(215) 750-1017
Fax: (215) 750-1295

PCPA Legislative Alert: DiGirolamo Budget Amendments

Contact Legislators Monday to Vote “Yes” on DiGirolamo Budget Amendments!
Representative Gene DiGirolamo is introducing two amendments to Governor Corbett’s proposed budget, one which stops the block grant and a second which restores the human services funding cut still remaining after the Senate budget proposal, Senate Bill 1477, restored half. It is likely the amendments will be voted on June 5 (during PCPA Capitol Day)! It is crucial that every legislator in Pennsylvania be called or emailed on Monday to ask them to vote “YES” on the DiGirolamo amendments. More information will be shared when available. Further questions may be addressed to Anne Leisure (anne@paproviders.org).
_____________________________________________________________________

Copyright 2012 – Pennsylvania Community Providers Association
2101 N Front St, Bldg 3, Ste 200, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-364-3280 – Fax: 717-364-3287
www.paproviders.org

PCPA Legislative Alert: Prime Time for Visits to County Commissioners!

Prime Time for Visits to County Commissioners!
The Department of Public Welfare (DPW) and the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) have issued an update on negotiationsconcerning the proposed Human Services Development Block Grant. Key points in the document follow.
 

  • The block grant will combine appropriations and allocate them to counties proportionately, based on the current aggregate distributions. A phase-in period will be implemented. In the first year (2012/13) counties will be required to spend 50 percent of funding within the current categorical allocations. In the second year (2013/14) counties will be required to spend 25 percent of funding within the current categorical allocations. By 2014/15, counties will be granted full flexibility. Counties may continue funding in the current categorical line items if preferred. Counties interested in moving to full flexibility immediately may apply for a waiver to do so.
  • Counties will be able to continue to operate existing joinder arrangements and can create new joinders if desired.
  • Counties will pay the amount of match paid by the county in fiscal year 2009/10 until final fiscal year 2010/11 match information is available. DPW will make adjustments at the close of fiscal year 2012/13.
  • Counties will be allowed to retain up to three percent of fiscal year 2011/12 carryover funds for reinvestment in human services and will be able to request a waiver to retain additional funds. Counties will need to submit a reinvestment plan.
  • A new streamlined reporting document will be used that replaces current fiscal reporting associated with the categorical programs.
  • DPW will require annual plans of how counties propose to use block grant dollars.
  • Outcomes measures will be built into the block grant proposal to ensure needs are being met.  

A number of county commissioners have reviewed provisions of the block grant and expressed strong concerns related to the impact on the safety net infrastructure. PCPA appreciates the thoughtful input of these commissioners and urges members to communicate with county commissioners as soon as possibleto convey the crucial importance of maintaining an intact safety net. A Talking Points document for visits to county commissioners is available. Contact information for commissioners can be found through the CCAP web site, which contains links to each county.
 
If services to Pennsylvanians in need of mental health, intellectual disability, autism, or addiction care are to remain accessible and effective, funding must be preserved and Pennsylvania’s safety net must be protected. To fight the devastation of Pennsylvania’s community services, members are urged to take action to visit county commissioners NOW. Further questions may be addressed to Anne Leisure (anne@paproviders.org). 
  

_____________________________________________________________________

Copyright 2012 – Pennsylvania Community Providers Association
2101 N Front St, Bldg 3, Ste 200, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-364-3280 – Fax: 717-364-3287

www.paproviders.org

PCPA Hill Day

Join PCPA at Hill Day!
Make Your Voice Heard on Capitol Hill
 
Join PCPA for the National Council’s 8th Annual Public Policy Institute and Hill Day June 25 – 26 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Washington, DC. Each year at Hill Day hundreds of behavioral health providers, administrators, board members, consumers, and community stakeholders come for a full day of sessions and workshops on federal behavioral health policy, followed by visits with their elected officials on Capitol Hill to advocate for the field’s priorities.

At the Public Policy Institute on June 25, members will have the opportunity to hear from key congressional and administration staff and policy experts who will provide an update on important federal policy initiatives. There will also be breakout sessions on advocacy techniques, federal grant funding, and social media marketing. On June 26, members meet with elected officials on Capitol Hill. The National Council will hold a reception each night: one on Capitol Hill to honor Legislators of the Year and the other at the Hyatt Regency to recognize member achievements and advocacy efforts. More details and registration information is available on the 
Hill Day web site.
 
PCPA experiences better reception from congressional offices when there is only one visit on specific issues from Hill Day participants. PCPA has requested appointments with both Pennsylvania Senators, to which all PCPA members in attendance are invited, and will also make appointments with members of Congress when requested. If PCPA is asked to make a Congressional appointment, every effort will be made to schedule the appointment at a time that does not conflict with Senatorial appointments, but requests for specific times cannot be taken. Those members requesting that PCPA schedule an appointment must be responsible for ensuring the appointment time is covered. Any member who has already scheduled an appointment with a congressman is invited to share that appointment time with other members by informing PCPA when the visit is to take place. PCPA will distribute a list of appointments to all association registrants.
 
More information will be shared as it becomes available, including scheduled appointment times and National Council talking points. Hill Day is a wonderful opportunity to ensure that federal lawmakers understand the importance of high quality and accessible behavioral health services to their communities. The Pennsylvania presence at Hill Day continues to grow and PCPA hopes that this year is no exception!
 
Questions and comments may be shared with George Kimes (george@paproviders.org) or Anne Leisure (anne@paproviders.org). 
_____________________________________________________________________

Copyright 2012 – Pennsylvania Community Providers Association
2101 N Front St, Bldg 3, Ste 200, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-364-3280 – Fax: 717-364-3287

www.paproviders.org

PCPA: Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

Governor Proclaims Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day

Governor Tom Corbett has issued a proclamation making May 9 Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day in Pennsylvania. In his proclamation the governor notes that “addressing the complex mental health needs of children, youth and families today is fundamental to the future of Pennsylvania.” Governor Corbett goes on to “urge our commonwealth’s citizens to become aware of the importance of effective and coordinated services for children and youth, to learn about the impact of trauma on child health and well-being, and to unite in an effort to increase awareness about the importance of comprehensive programs for children and youth with mental health needs and their families.”

PCPA joins the governor and neighbors across Pennsylvania in celebrating Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day and commends mental health professionals and workers who strive daily to meet the complex needs of children, youth, and families.

_____________________________________________________________________

Copyright 2012 – Pennsylvania Community Providers Association
2101 N Front St, Bldg 3, Ste 200, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-364-3280 – Fax: 717-364-3287

www.paproviders.org

PCPA Info: Voter ID Required

In the recent primary election, voters were asked for identification (ID), but not required to produce it. Voter ID will be required in the November election. In an effort to mitigate onerous requirements for those who do not currently have suitable ID, the Secretary of the Commonwealth announced a process intended to make it easier for those who have had an expired driver’s license or non-driver license photo ID to obtain a valid ID that will authorize them to vote. Information from the PENNDOT database will be used to verify identification and the card will be issued. Individuals may contact PENNDOT at 800-932-4600 to verify that information for licenses that expired before 1990 is still in the database. An application form is required for the non-driver license photo ID. Individuals are required to sign an affirmation that they have no other acceptable form of photo ID for voting purposes to receive the non-driver license photo ID at no charge.

Photo IDs from Pennsylvania care facilities including long-term care facilities, assisted living residences, or personal care homes are valid, as long as they include the name of the facility, the name and photo of the voter, and an expiration date. Accredited Pennsylvania public or private college and university photo IDs with expiration dates can also be used. If the card does not have an expiration date, a date sticker can be used.

Starting with the November election, all photo IDs must be current and contain an expiration date, unless otherwise noted. Acceptable IDs include:

  • Photo IDs issued by the US government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
  • Pennsylvania driver’s license or non-driver’s license photo ID (IDs are valid for voting purposes 12 months past expiration date);
  • Valid US passport;
  • US military ID – active duty and retired military (dependents’ ID must contain an expiration date);
  • Employee photo ID issued by federal, Pennsylvania state, or a Pennsylvania county or municipal government;
  • Photo ID cards from an accredited public or private Pennsylvania college or university; or
  • Photo ID cards issued by a Pennsylvania care facility, including long-term care facilities, assisted living residences, or personal care homes.

If a voter does not have a photo ID at the polls in November, he or she may use a provisional ballot and will have six days to provide a photo ID to the county election office in person, by mail, e-mail, or fax. More information is available at www.VotesPA.com, or 877-VOTESPA (877-868-3772). Voter ID acts in Pennsylvania and other states are being contested. Despite efforts to make it easier to obtain IDs, voter ID requirements will disenfranchise many.

_____________________________________________________________________

Copyright 2012 – Pennsylvania Community Providers Association
2101 N Front St, Bldg 3, Ste 200, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-364-3280 – Fax: 717-364-3287
www.paproviders.org

 

PMHCA Upcoming Rallies

Reposted information from email via pmhca.org.
 

Pennsylvania Mental Health Consumers’ Association 
 
Upcoming Rallies to Stop the Proposed Cuts
 


There are many opportunities to make your voice heard at upcoming rallies to stop the proposed budget cuts.
Read about two opportunities below and check out our 
calendar and website for more chances to get involved. 
 
 
May 5:

“Occupy the APA”: Participants from around the country will gather on May 5, 2012, at 10 a.m. at Friends Center, 1515 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, in a peaceful effort to call attention to the American Psychiatric Association’s misguided plans to publish a new edition of psychiatry’s “Bible,” the DSM-5, that will inevitably lead to over-prescription of psychiatric drugs, according to its many critics. At approximately 12:15, we will march to the Pennsylvania Convention Center (12th and Arch Streets), where we will rally. Join us! (Occupy the APA is a big tent: participants will represent a spectrum of points of view. But we will be united by our belief that the DSM-5, which the American Psychiatric Association wants to make its next “Bible,” is not a “Good Book”!) Following are links to two sets of talking points (the first set of which was adapted from information provided by the Coalition for DSM-5 Reform, a psychologists’ organization that has amassed more than 13,000 signatures on a petition calling the DSM-5 into question):
 
http://psychrights.org/education/OccupyPsychiatry/WhyOccupyTheAPA.htm 
http://psychrights.org/Education/OccupyPsychiatry/DSM5TalkingPoints.html 

May 6:
“Imagining a Different Future in Mental Health!” Hear three inspiring speakers: Robert Whitaker, author of Anatomy of an Epidemic and Mad in AmericaJim Gottstein, Esq., founder of the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights; and Jacki McKinney, MSW, award-winning advocate and trauma expert. Their presentations will be followed by a Q&A session facilitated by Joseph Rogers, executive director of the National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse. The doors open at 1:30 p.m.; the event will begin at 2:00 p.m. It will take place in the main chapel of the Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany, 330 S. 13 Street, between Spruce and Pine streets, Philadelphia. This event is free! All are welcome! 
 
Here is a link that leads to flyers about each of the events. 

http://www.mhselfhelp.org/news/view.php?news_id=1146 
 
The National Mental Health Consumers’ Self-Help Clearinghouse is a consumer-run national technical assistance center funded in part by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
 
 
PMHCA’s 24th Annual Statewide Conference, Recovery Unlimited: Rising Above Challenges, will be held June 5- 7, 2012 at the Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey Hotel. For information about conference and registration, visit www.pmhca.org. 

 

Disclaimer
The views, opinions, and content on the Clearinghouse website and in anything posted on the website or in these e-mails or attached to these e-mails do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of the Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).