System Reform

LEVEL UP for ID/A Legislation

PAR is developing System Reform Omnibus Legislation to address duplicative and unnecessary requirements in the Intellectual Disability/Autism system that divert much-needed time and resources away from direct services. Input was gathered from internal PAR committees as well as major stakeholder groups in the system. Areas addressed in the legislation include Employment First, transportation, Medicaid pilots, simplifying the system, and reinvesting any savings.

Employment First

PAR’s Employment First Committee is actively engaged with the Office of Developmental Programs and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation to identify ways that providers and the state can partner together to reduce barriers to competitive, integrated employment for individuals with intellectual disability/autism. If you are a PAR member interested in joining the committee, please email [email protected].

PAR was actively involved in Employment First legislation that passed the PA House and Senate. The bill was signed into law by Governor Wolf and became Act 36 of 2018.

Regulatory Reform

Regulations are established as minimum standards to maintain compliance within the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) system and programs. They are to be the basic expectations within the programs and services; minimum standards to be met. However, over the last two decades these basic standards have grown and expanded beyond minimum standards, developing with changing expectations and progress within the developmental disabilities fields to not only maintain minimum safety, but also expanding well beyond those expectations.

Unfortunately, the regulations have grown well beyond what is considered minimum expectations for safety during this time. In addition to the regulations as basic expectations for programs and services, the department has developed and continually expanded bulletins, guidelines, and manuals (typically adding unfunded mandates) associated with operation of programs and services that hold no regulatory authority but operate as if they do. These ancillary materials often surpass minimum regulatory authority. PAR has been continually advocating for the maintenance of and return to minimum regulatory standards with the system. A return to reasonable minimum regulatory standards that accomplish the expectation of protection of health, safety, welfare and establishment of minimum programmatic standards.