Winter 2009 issue
PENNSYLVANIA STATE TASK FORCE ON OCCUPATIONAL REGULATIONS (PASTF)
Valerie F. Uschock, LCAT, MT-BC, NMT
Voting members: Dena Condron, MMT, MT-BC, LPC; Maria Hricko Fay, MT-BC, LSW, FAMI, LCAT; Jerry O’Leary, MA, MT-BC; Valerie Uschock, LCAT, MT-BC, NMT (Chair); Melanie Walborn, MT-BC; Betsy Zimmerman, PhD, MT-BC.
Non-voting ex-officio members: Brian Abrams, PhD, MT-BC, LPC, LCAT, FAMI (MAR President); Carol Ann Blank, MMT, MT-BC, (MAR Government Relations Chair); Judy Simpson, MHP, MT-BC (AMTA Director of Government Relations); Dena Register, PhD, MT-BC (CBMT Regulatory Affairs Advisor).
Happy 2009 to all of you! As the new year and a new era in government begins, the task force continues to work on behalf of PA music therapists on a number of issues including licensing, advocacy, and research.
- Fact Sheet Now Available: PASTF has worked diligently in putting together a fact sheet in order to assist Music Therapists who are LPCs in submitting CMTEs for their license renewals. You will find informational statements along with links to the regulations and forms. The fact sheet was initially sent via email to PA Music Therapists, but is now available on the MAR website (www.mar-amta.org). The fact sheet can be found both on the home page announcements section and on the Pennsylvania section. The fact sheet will remain on the website and will be updated as needed. Many thanks to webmaster Felice Macera for uploading the information so quickly.
- Renewal Applications: Applications ($75.00 fee and due on February 15th, 2009) can be found at: http://www.dos.state.pa.us/bpoa/lib/bpoa/20/socwkbd/renewal_app.pdf
- PA Board Decision: In October of 2008 the State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors, the Board determined that CBMT can only approve a course or program. CBMT must provide the licensee with a certification of completion that indicates that the course/program was approved and/or sponsored by CBMT. Any other requests for continuing education (published articles, etc...) would need to be approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Professional Counselors. An individual may request individual PA Board approval by completing the application for approval and submitting all requested documentation.
The application for approval ($45.00 fee) can be found at:
- Acceptable forms of continuing education: As stated above, the PA Board will accept courses or programs pre-approved by CBMT in which a certificate of completion is issued. Other acceptable sources of continuing education as defined by section 49.37 of the regulations are as follows:
a) Clock hours may be granted on a case-by-case basis for the following:
(1) Participation in clinical conferences, clinical rounds or training under a preceptor provided through hospitals, medical centers, schools and universities.
(2) First-time experience as a teacher.
(3) Publications of articles, books and research relating to the practice of professional counseling.
(4) Services as a preceptor, lecturer or speaker.
(b) A licensee who wishes to obtain clock hours for credit under subsection (a)(1), (2) or (4) shall submit, prior to participating in the event, an application for approval along with a fee of $45 as provided by § 49.34(a) (relating to registration of continuing education providers who offer one course or program). A licensee seeking to obtain clock hours for a publication under subsection (a)(3), shall submit, after the publication of the article, book or research, an application for approval along with a fee of $45 as provided by § 49.34(a).
Some of you have been taking advantage of the information and have been writing to us with your questions and concerns. We really appreciate the questions as it prompts us to dig deeper for answers and it helps us in getting the most accurate information to all of you. Please continue to contact us with your questions (and answers too).
1. Service Definitions for Person/Family Based Waiver: The Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) has been relatively quiet on this issue since notifying us that Music Therapy is not listed in the revised service definitions. The final service definitions are scheduled for June of 2009. PASTF members are currently writing letters to legislators in an effort to gain support of Music Therapy's inclusion in the service definitions.
2. Update on Autism Insurance Act 62 of 2008 (HB 1150): Act 62 recently was signed into law on July 9, 2008 and mandates that large group insurers cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism and autism spectrum disorders for persons under the age of 21. The Act takes effect July 1, 2009. The PA Department of Public Welfare, (DPW), PA Insurance Department and PA Department of State are working closely together to implement the new law and communicate with families and other stakeholders. The DPW has launched a website about the new Autism Insurance Law. The website is called www.PAAutismInsurance.org and is now available for viewing. PASTF is reviewing the bill's definition of an "Autism Service Provider" and the possible opportunities for Music Therapy.
3. Adult Autism Waiver: PASTF is researching this new waiver and the possibilities for Music Therapy. On May 14, 2008, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) approved Pennsylvania's request to use federal Medicaid funds to establish a program that provides home and community based services for adults with autism. This program is known as the Autism Waiver and is the first such program for adults in the nation to receive federal approval. The $20 million-a-year waiver program will serve up to 200 individuals initially. Waiver slots will be divided by regions with persons who are not receiving state or federally funded “long term care” services (including other waivers) having top priority. Waiver eligibility is limited to people who:
- Have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Childhood Disintegrative Disorder; Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified; Rett Disorder as determined by a licensed psychologist or physician.
- Are 21 years old or older.
- Have significant functional limitations
- Meet income requirements. Parent's income and assets do not count.
4. Aging Waiver Renewed: The Pennsylvania Office of Long Term Living (OLTL) announced at the December Medical Assistance Advisory Committee (MAAC) meeting that its request to renew the state’s Aging waiver (also known as the PDA waiver) has finally been approved by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The previous PDA waiver had been set to expire on June 30, 2008 but was extended several times by CMS while the state worked to address issues raised by the federal government during the waiver renewal process. Approval of the waiver application was subject to the state’s completion of a detailed work plan that was negotiated with CMS. One of the issues raised by CMS during the approval process related to the state’s administrative oversight of waiver operations. As a result, the OLTL will be issuing a series of revised policies in early 2009 to clarify its role in administrative authority. The Aging Waiver renewal application and an abridged version of the state’s work plan are available on the OLTL website at www.dpw.state.pa.us/About/OLTL. In the past Music Therapy has been an eligible service under the Counseling component of the waiver. PASTF will be researching the renewed waiver in more detail in regards to Music Therapy.
As always, we need all PA Music Therapists to participate in the ongoing advocacy efforts. You can all help by keeping a watchful eye and sharing information as it happens. We do our best work when we are proactive. All questions, concerns, news on PA health legislation, etc. should be sent to the Task Force at: email@example.com
Best to all of you!