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Wolf Administration Joins Managed Care Organization and Community Partners to Announce Innovative Collaboration

News for Immediate Release     

Posted February 23, 2018       

Department of Human Services continues effort to expand access to high-quality services 

HARRISBURG, PA – Department of Human Services (DHS) today joined Health Partners Plans (HPP), Philadelphia FIGHT Community Health Centers (Philadelphia FIGHT), members of the legislature, and stakeholders at Broad Street Ministry in Philadelphia to announce a collaboration to improve access to high-quality health care for individuals battling homelessness and chronic health conditions.

“I am thrilled to participate in today’s announcement of this innovative collaboration between a managed care organization and community partners,” said DHS Acting Secretary Teresa Miller. “Collaborations like these address social determinants of health that affect so many of the individuals that we serve. The Wolf administration is committed to finding innovative ways to address the barriers that many of our recipients face and this community-based partnership to improve the health and wellbeing of these individuals does that.”

Through this collaboration, Philadelphia FIGHT will open a satellite clinic in Broad Street Ministry to provide medical care for individuals living with and at high-risk of HIV, as well as provide social services for individuals through a care manager employed by HPP.

“Finding innovative ways to remove barriers to health care and increase access to resources drives every decision we make at HPP,” says President and CEO William S. George. “This groundbreaking partnership reflects each organization’s mission to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable populations while providing much-needed comprehensive wrap-around services that many homeless people lack.”

DHS is placing greater emphasis on social determinants of health, like housing, food insecurity and employment. The agency is working closely with managed care organizations and encouraging them to find creative, innovative ways to help individuals address the social and environmental factors that impact their health. 

“Partnerships like this one benefit everyone involved – from recipients, managed care organizations and community partners to the state budget - by improving access to care, health outcomes, and reducing costs,” said Miller. “Because the department’s health care spending is driven by so much more than just the health care individuals receive, this is an area where we want to partner with our managed care organizations to create additional opportunities for innovation.”  

For more information on DHS, visit www.dhs.pa.gov.

Letter to Congress that Supports the Independent Practice of Medicine

Proposed Funding in Support of Families and Children

Posted February 15, 2018

The Department of Human Services (DHS) today announced initiatives included in Governor Wolf’s 2018-19 budget proposal in support of Pennsylvania families and children. The budget items will provide opportunities for a brighter future by expanding access to services for self-sufficiency and sustainability.

The proposed 2018-19 budget includes investments in high-quality early childhood education to support low-income families in Pennsylvania struggling to stay in the workforce due to the cost of child care.

Governor Wolf proposed a $25 million state-fund investment, matched with $5 million in federal funds to expand access to high-quality early childhood education services, allowing parents to work while their children are in safe, reliable child care.

The investment consists of:

  • $10 million to provide approximately 1,600 additional low-income children and families access to child care;
  • $10 million in state funds, and an additional $5 million in federal funds, to increase
    STAR 2, 3, and 4 tiered payment rates;
  • $3 million to establish a pilot program focused on early childhood education programs for children under 3; and
  • $2 million to provide a rate increase for services provided through Nurse Family Partnership and Community-Based Family Centers to enhance capacity.

For many low-income working families, the cost of high-quality child care is financially out of reach. By investing in high-quality child care and incentivizing child care providers to give quality care to vulnerable children, more families will have access to supports that will enable them to work and their children to benefit from a high-quality early education setting.

“Child care is a critical work support to low income working families that allows parents and caregivers to be focused employees,” said DHS Acting Secretary Teresa Miller. “Child care access also allows children to enjoy high-quality learning environments that benefit their healthy growth and development.”

Families and children can also benefit from the holistic support services provided through evidenced-based home visiting programs. Early childhood and prenatal home visiting programs ensure families have the support and services they need to provide a holistic and healthy home environment. And Governor Wolf has proposed $4.5 million for an initiative to expand evidenced-based home visiting focused on communities impacted the most by the opioid epidemic.

Home visiting can improve parents’ knowledge and skills, help develop social support systems, and improve access to education, health, and community services. In addition, by providing education, resources and referral strategies to agencies that support either parents struggling with an opioid use disorder (OUD) or other substance use disorder (SUD) or to home visiting programs, families will have a stronger network of supports for the entire family. The investments within this initiative include:

  • $4 million to expand evidenced-based home visiting to 800 families in communities most impacted by OUD;
  • $500,000 for cross-systems training for county children and youth staff, early intervention providers, home visiting professionals, and private provider staff focusing on working with families experiencing SUD or OUD and infants with substance exposure.

“Successful treatment of individuals dealing with SUD that focuses on the whole person, not just the addiction, has been most successful,” Miller said. “By giving parents in treatment the tools and assistance to meet their child’s needs, we hope to reduce the number of children entering out-of-home care while supporting the parents’ recovery.”

For more information on Governor Wolf’s 2018-19 proposed budget visit budget.pa.gov.

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department Newsletter

Posted February 7, 2018

PA Insurance Insights

CMS New Medicare Card Campaign

Posted February 1, 2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has kicked off the New Medicare Card campaign, designed to promote awareness to beneficiaries, their families, caregivers, and advocates.  We also want to remind this audience to be wary of scam artists and provide tips for protecting themselves.   We hope your organization will join in this effort.

What you need to know:


In April 2018, CMS will begin a year-long process of sending Medicare beneficiaries a New Medicare Card that will have a unique Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), thereby removing the social security number from the Medicare card. Medicare will automatically mail the new card at no cost to the address on file with Social Security. There’s nothing Medicare beneficiaries need to do!  If they need to update their official mailing address, they should contact Social Security Administration by visiting the online my Social Security account.

There are materials that you can order FREE of charge and FREE delivery.  If you click on https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/New-Medicare-Card/Partners-and-Employers/Partners-and-employers.html  you will see flyers in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Japanese, Arabic and Korean that partners can download and print, or click on the link there that lets you ORDER these products. Also provided are instructions on How To Order
(See below).  It’s an easy 2 step process to open an account, find any Medicare publication, order and it will be shipped to your address on the account!

How to Order Materials from the CMS Product Ordering Website

What we are asking:

We ask your organization to do what it can to help inform and protect people with Medicare. CMS has provided new resources that you can use. Below are direct links to the new materials.
How you can help:
  • Share the resources with your consumers, your colleagues, partners and community.  Email this to your distribution lists!
  • Display a poster
  • Provide flyers at strategic locations in your office, center, at check-out locations
  • Add Social Media Graphics - see toolkit above
  • Add widget to your signature or website
  • Use the Public Service Announcement (PSA) scripting for any newsletters, bulletins, or public service announcements
  • Share the information at community meetings, staff meetings
If there is additional information you need, or any feedback you can share, please feel free to contact Debbie Feierman, MSW at debbie.feierman@cms.hhs.gov

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