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October 2014 Archives

DPW Regulatory Clarifications Regarding Personal Care Homes

The Department of Public Welfare ("DPW"), Bureau of Human Services Licensing has posted on its website regulatory clarifications concerning the Personal Care Home Regulations. The regulatory clarifications are in the form of a question and answer format and will remain on DPW's website until the information is incorporated into the next updated Regulatory Compliance Guide. The personal care home regulatory clarifications that were posted this month address 55 Pa. Code §2600.107(c) (regarding emergency preparedness); §2600.132(d) (regarding fire drills); and§2600.190(b) (regarding medication administration training). To obtain further information regarding the aforementioned regulatory clarifications, please click here, or contact Tanya Harris of Latsha, Davis & McKenna. 

Long-Term Care Arbitration Update

On July 10, 2014, the Pennsylvania Superior Court found in favor of a nursing facility in an arbitration case holding that a valid arbitration agreement existed between the nursing facility and the former resident who died at the facility. As a result, in the case of MacPherson v. Magee Memorial Hospital for Convalescence, the court invoked the liberal policy favoring arbitration agreements contained in the Federal Arbitration Act and state law, and remanded the negligence suit against the nursing facility to arbitration. The Superior Court distinguished this case from Pisano v. Extendicare Homes, Inc. in which it found that wrongful death and survival actions are separate rights of action deriving from an individual's death, not from the decedent's rights. In MacPherson, however, the court held that wrongful death rights belong only to the individuals named in the statute (i.e., parents, children, and spouses). In this case, the executor was the brother of the deceased resident, so he had no wrongful death rights. As a personal representative, he is bound by the arbitration agreement.

Latsha Davis & McKenna, P.C. to present at Charter School Board and CEO Training.

Joshua Pollak, Esq. will be presenting to charter school CEOs and board members during an upcoming seminar to be held at Urban Pathways K-5 Charter School, 925 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 19522 on October 25, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Mr. Pollak's discussion will focus on recent and possible upcoming changes in the law facing charter schools throughout the Commonwealth.

Latsha Davis & McKenna, P.C. to Sponsor trainings on Mandatory Reporting Requirements

Recent legislation has made significant changes to the Educator Discipline Act impacting Mandatory Reporting Requirements. Significant changes to the Child Protective Services Law greatly impact mandated reporters.

DPW Publishes Case Mix Rates for 2014-2015

On September 20, 2014, the Department of Public Welfare published a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin regarding final case mix rates for state fiscal year 2014-2015.  Nursing facilities have received letters detailing their rates for that fiscal year.  Most notably, the budget adjustment factor continues to limit the estimated statewide day-weighted average payment rate for county and nonpublic nursing facilities so that the average payment rate in effect for the fiscal year is limited to the amount appropriated by the state legislature for funding.  For the July, October, in January rates, the base budget adjustment factor is .84265.  At the minimum, providers should review their rate notice letters to determine the cost report years DPW is using to set the facility's case-mix rates.  If the provider has an audit appeal pending for one of its base years, then the best practice would be to file an appeal of the case-mix rate notice to preserve any issue regarding the add-back of costs to the base year and subsequent recalculation of the payment rate.  Providers have 33 days from the date of the letter to file a request for hearing with the Bureau of Hearings and Appeals.

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