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Organization of the Department of Aging

 

Office of the Secretary
Responsible for the administration of all Aging programs and services for the commonwealth. Promotes prevention and protection for older Pennsylvanians. To view the Secretary's page, click here.

Chief Counsel Office

Analyzes and provides legal guidance in connection with the exercise of official powers of the Department.  Works in coordination with other Pennsylvania departments and under the guidance of the Governor’s Office of General Counsel.

 

Legislative Affairs Office

Carries out and conveys agency policies to members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly by advocating for or against pieces of legislation.  Provides consistent and prompt answers to questions from members of the legislature and keeps members apprised of Aging issues, whether those issues are state-wide or specifically in their districts.  Works in coordination with liaisons in other Pennsylvania departments and under the guidance of the Governor’s Office of Legislative Affairs.

 

Pennsylvania Council on Aging (PCOA)

Serves as a statewide forum, clearinghouse, guardian and advocate for the rights and interests of the elderly in determining a comprehensive program of services for the elderly.  Advises the Governor, the General Assembly, and the Department of Aging through its agency head, regarding the planning, coordination and delivery of services provided by Pennsylvania Department of Aging and other state agencies. For more information on the PCOA, click here.

 

Policy Office

Acts as a “clearinghouse” for all policy development activity within the Department.  Develops, coordinates, plans, assesses and evaluates polices across the organizations within the Department to ensure consistency in content, direction and application.  Assists other bureaus and offices in developing policy, evaluating impact and establishing and improving strategic direction.  Serves as a liaison with other departments’ programs and policy offices, state agencies and external stakeholder groups.  Works in coordination with liaisons in other state agencies and under the guidance of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Policy.

 

Press Office

Responsible for the Department's public relations initiatives.  In addition to responding to inquiries from members of the media, the Press Office prepares and distributes news releases, public reports, newsletters and other written materials.   Coordinates news conferences and facilitates media appearances by the Secretary, Deputy Secretary and Department staff members.   Charged with the overall quality and content administration of the Department’s information and referral services, including oversight of the Department’s Information and Referral help lines, websites and other outreach media campaigns.   Develops and produces consumer publications for the Department.

 

OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY SECRETARY OF AGING

Oversees all services funded by the Older Americans Act, Tobacco Settlement Fund and the Pennsylvania Lottery including the PACE/PACENET programs, home and community based services, protective services, nutrition programs, transportation, senior employment and volunteer development programs.  Oversees the Bureau of Finance including the Budget, Contracting and Procurement Divisions and the Bureau of Quality Assurance including Quality and Compliance Division, Metrics and Analytics Division and Licensing Division.

 

BUREAU OF ADVOCACY

Advocates, protects and educates the population on aging and long-term care services and options, including coordinating advocacy and protection among appropriate state agencies, enforcement entities and the general public.

 

 

Ombudsman Division

Mandated by federal Older Americans Act and state legislation, involves designing, implementing and managing a statewide reporting and investigative system to deal effectively with complaints made by or on behalf of older consumers of long-term care services.  Advocates for systematic improvements in long-term care services through analyzing and monitoring federal and state legislation impacting consumers of long-term care services, providing training and sanction for representatives who provide local ombudsman services, and providing technical assistance and information to local ombudsman and consumers of long-term care services.

 

Protective Services Division

Provides services that protect older adults against fraud, abuse, exploitation and neglect and responsible for managing the criminal history background check process.  Directs the administration of the Older Adults Protective Services Program for the prevention and treatment of elder abuse, neglect, exploitation and abandonment.  Coordinates services through the Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), developing and ensuring implementation of protective services’ programs, policies and procedures, providing technical assistance to the agencies, conducting staff training and collecting data and reports on elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.  Includes the Criminal history Background Check Unit that works directly with state and FBI organizations in processing background checks to protect facilities from hiring prohibited hires in long-term care facilities.

 

AGING AND DISABILITY RESOURCES OFFICE (ADRO)

Responsible for the expansion and promotion of the Aging and Disability Resources Center Program (ADRC), which is a federal Administration on Aging core program and collaborative effort to create a person-centered, community-based environment that promotes independence and dignity for individuals.  Provides easy access to information to assist consumers in exploring a full range of long-term support options and provides resources and services that support the range of needs for family caregivers.  Targets services to the elderly and individuals with physical disabilities, serious mental illness, and/or developmental/ intellectual disabilities with goal of serving all individuals with long-term care needs regardless of their age or disability.

 

BUREAU OF AGING SERVICES

Promotes prompt service delivery to consumers through the development of efficient program operational policies and practices across all Aging services.  Administrative responsibilities include the state-level management of Older Americans Act Services, Caregiver Support Program, transportation, Senior Centers, OPTIONS, Veterans’ Directed Home and Community-Based Services, Domiciliary Care, Aging In Place programs, Senior Housing and nutrition services.

 

Older Americans Act Services Division

Administers and oversees the Older Americans Act Titles III Community Grants and Title V Community Services.  Serves as the liaison to the Area Agencies on Aging and the federal Administration on Aging.  Develops program and service delivery procedures that apply Older Americans Act Services, including program areas such as Caregiver Support Program, senior centers, volunteerism, nutrition services, employment and transportation.

 

Housing and Community Services Division

Coordinates and oversees all housing programs for older Pennsylvanians including domiciliary care, home modifications and supported senior housing options.  Coordinates with state and federal agencies that provide supportive housing for Older Pennsylvanians.  Promotes the expansion of housing services and Aging In Place models for older Pennsylvanians.

 

BUREAU OF FINANCE

Responsible for the budget and financial management for the Department of Aging.  Serves as liaison to Governor’s Budget Office.  Develops and manages the Aging budget and related fiscal activities including budget updates, coordination of budget submissions, audits, fiscal management of grants and contracts, financial audits and review of financial reports and financial statements for Older Americans Act Programs, aging services and other programs as appropriate.  Performs day-to-day financial operational management, ongoing monitoring of expenditures and related information, periodic updates of budget projections, ongoing provider rate setting activities and provision of budget analysis to help inform policy decisions.  Defends audit decisions through the hearing and appeal process.  Provides support to internal agency budget processes, develops program revision requests, manages contracts and analyzes statistical data to support fiscal and programmatic activities.

 

Budget Division

Manages Aging budget and related fiscal management activities, including developing the Department budget, submitting cost-to-carry and spring update information, and providing budget analysis information in the development of Aging Program Revision Requests to the Governor's Budget Office.  Works closely with program staff to ensure continuity and coordination across the services.

 

Contracting Division

Manages and supports all contracts for Aging.  Works with various bureaus and the Deputy Secretary to advise on and secure and execute contracts, develop timelines and work plans for contracts and monitor for effectiveness and outcomes.  Maintains a database and tracks billing to ensure continuity and coordination of Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) contracts.  Reviews and approves AAA budgets and analyzes ongoing AAA financial operations by establishing financial reporting and minimum accounting standards for the AAAs, operating allocation models to develop annual AAA budget allocations, and reviewing AAA data submissions and reports for appropriate funding allocations, expenditures and encumbrances.

 

Procurement Division

Executes, manages and supports all procurements for the Department of Aging.  Works with various bureaus and the Deputy Secretary to secure, execute and monitor procurements. Maintains a centralized contract database and tracks billing to ensure continuity and coordination.

 

BUREAU OF PACE (PHARMACEUTICAL ASSISTANCE CONTRACT FOR THE ELDERLY)

Provides, through a pharmacy benefit administrator (PBA), an accessible high quality of care, comprehensive prescription drug benefit to an optimum number of eligible Pennsylvanians.   Manages the pharmacy benefit for the Department of Health Chronic Renal Disease Program (CRDP) and the Department of Public Welfare Special Pharmaceutical Benefit Program (SPBP).   Provides limited support to other state pharmacy benefit programs, such as the State Workers’ Insurance Fund. For more information on PACE, click here.

 

PACE Cardholder and Enrollment Division

Manages a statewide direct outreach activity to non-enrolled PACE/PACENET eligibles who, upon enrollment, are screened for facilitated enrollment services into Medicare Part D, the Part D Low-Income Subsidy and Property Tax and Rent Rebate Programs.  Develops procedures for application adjudication and manages the cardholder appeal process for the eligibility determinations of the PBA.  Oversees the assignment of PACE/PACENET, CRDP and SPBP cardholders to Medicare Part D partner plans and coordinates with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  Ensures that state-funded drug benefit programs are the payers of last resort by managing third-party liability determinations and recoupments for PACE/ PACENET and CRDP.

 

Operations Division

Manages the PBA contract, Statements of Understanding (SOU) with the Departments of Health, Public Welfare and Labor and Industry, and contracts with Part D partner and non-partner plans.  Manages the Part D premium billing review and payments to the participating Part D Plans.

 

Research and Evaluation Division

Responsible for program financial forecasting, monitoring enrollment and drug utilization trends and the setting and updating of performance standards.  Manages a variety of ongoing operational activities, research and demonstration projects dedicated to improving PACE/PACENET enrollment drug safety, physician education and cost effective prescribing practices.

 

BUREAU OF QUALITY ASSURANCE

Conducts quality management and improvement monitoring of Aging programs and services to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations and the delivery of quality programs to assure the health and welfare of consumers. Ensures that program and service delivery systems achieve desired outcomes and works closely with the Bureau of Finance and the Policy Office to use data analysis to measure the effectiveness of program design and operations, recommend strategies for improvement and ensure fiscal accountability, and prepare financial reports as appropriate.

 

Quality and Compliance Division

Responsible for the overall compliance monitoring of Aging programs, including pre-admission assessments.  Acts as liaison with the AAAs and conducts consumer monitoring to ensure all aspects of the quality management strategy are followed and reviews and analyzes reports.

 

Metrics and Analytics Division

Responsible for directing data collection and analysis activities and support for the Department of Aging, including management and coordination of statistical analysis across Aging programs and functions.  Ensures management has timely and accurate access to data to promote the efficient and effective operation of Department activities and programs.  Maintains and houses all databases related to programs, provides forecast analysis of future funding trends as well as cost benefit analyses in order to advise senior management on changes or additions to existing programs.  Provides census, consumer demographics, service and budget information to support the Department of Aging functions and reports.  Acts as data support for SAMs (Social Assistance Management System) and the AAA Network.

 

Licensing Division

Responsible for the licensure of older adult daily living centers in Pennsylvania.  Develops and maintains a licensure process, forms and applications, inspection schedules, internal policies and procedures, as well as developing standards to ensure quality in the services provided at the centers.  Conducts on-site inspections on at least an annual basis, recommends continued licensure status, investigates complaints and provides technical assistance to prospective and licensed centers as needed.

 

OPERATIONS AND MANAGEMENT OFFICE

Responsible for administrative offices and bureaus that support the core daily enterprise-wide functions of the department.  Provides oversight for project management, communications support and human resource, information technology liaison, State Plan on Aging management, grant management, facility administration, and education, outreach and training support for the agency.

 

Education and Outreach Office

Oversees health and consumer education programs initiated by the Department, including the Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program/APPRISE and the Health Promotion/Disease Prevention Program. Coordinates logistics for the Department’s training activities, including statewide training for Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). Develops and produces consumer publications for the Department and develops and maintains the Elder Corp Information to coordinate recruitment and referral services for volunteers in the aging network.

 

Human Resource Office

Manages the Department’s human resource (HR) programs including recruitment and placement, position classification and pay, complement management, labor relations, equal employment opportunity, training and HR systems.  For the Area Agencies on Aging, monitors the merit functions, provides technical assistance and processes civil service transactions.

 

Intra-Governmental Council on Long-Term Care

Studies the long-term care system in Pennsylvania from a funding, operational and consumer perspective and makes recommendations to the Governor on ways to streamline the system and develop a full spectrum of options for consumers and their families.

 

Support Services Unit

Develops and manages internal administrative functions and supervises administrative/support services for the Department of Aging, which includes physical plant and office space management, building and office support services such as equipment maintenance, inventory, automotive, mail, record storage and disposal, supplies, forms control, material printing and duplication.