​Bureau of Community and Hospital Operations

The Bureau of Community and Hospital Operations consists of three Divisions: The Eastern and Western Operations and Hospital Operations. There are four Regional Field Offices that are a part of the Eastern and Western Operations.

The four regional field offices have responsibilities such as those listed below:

  • Monitor and investigate major unusual incidents and complaints
  • Conducs contract oversight of HealthChoices Managed Behavioral Health Services
  • Work with local county officials, professional and advocacy organizations, legislators, federal government representatives, and others
  • Promote consumer and family involvement in decision making about what services and supports are needed
  • Review and approvs county mental health plans and budgets to ensure comprehensive services are available
  • Partner with county mental health and state hospital system on service area planning
  • Work with counties to implement and monitor the Community Hospital Integration Project Programs (CHIPPS)
  • Licensure of mental health services

The main roles of the Bureau of Community and Hospital Operations are:

  • Oversight of County Mental Health Programs
    • The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a highly decentralized system of mental health services, with county government responsible for providing  mental health services to citizens. The Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act of 1966 requires county governments to provide community mental health services, including short-term inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, outpatient care, emergency services, specialized rehabilitation training, vocational rehabilitation, and residential arrangements. There are 48 county/county joinders under the direction of County Mental Health administrators. All county administrators also function as the directors of the county developmental services programs and in 35 counties, as drug and alcohol program administrators.
    • The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Bureau of Community and Hospital Operations provides oversight and partners with County Mental Health administrators to ensure every individual served by the mental health and substance abuse service system has the opportunity for growth, recovery and inclusion in their community, has access to culturally competent services and supports of their choice, and enjoys a quality of life that includes family and friends.
  • Contract oversight of HealthChoices managed Behavioral Health Program
    • The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's mandatory Medicaid managed care program, called HealthChoices (HC), is the largest Medicaid program administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS) and consists of three components. The Office of Medical Assistance Programs (OMAP) administers two components: the Physical Health Program and the HealthChoices Enrollment Assistance Program. The Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) oversee the third component, the Behavioral Health Program, which provides mental health and substance abuse treatment services.
    • Under the behavioral health component of the HealthChoices program, counties are required to ensure high quality care and timely access to appropriate mental health and drug and alcohol services and facilitate effective coordination with other needed services. The HealthChoices Behavioral Health Program was implemented statewide on July 1, 2007.
  • Operation and oversight for State Hospital System
    • The primary purpose of the State Hospital System is to insure state-of-the art inpatient treatment to persons committed under the Mental Health Procedures Act (MHPA). The goal of the state hospital system is to ensure that Pennsylvanians admitted to a state hospital develop the skills, resources, and supports needed for recovery and are able to return to the community.
    • The bureau oversees and directs the effective and efficient management of six state-owned and operated hospitals and one restoration center, including two maximum-security forensic units for persons with serious mental illness who are charged with or convicted of criminal offenses and the Sexual Responsibility and Treatment Program.
    • To ensure quality patient care, the bureau reviews and analyzes management reports and clinical information related to state hospital/restoration center utilization, in order to anticipate and resolve emerging problems. It also administers systemic risk management and performance improvement initiatives and data tracking systems to identify areas needing improvement and to identify and replicate treatment best practices. The bureau uses these results to establish system-wide standards and policies for treatment and clinical functions which adhere to or exceed accepted best practice. The bureau also maintains Medicare and Medicaid certification to assure the highest standards of inpatient care.
    • The division staff works with consumers, family members, ombudspersons, and advocates to improve the quality of life for all who receive services and supports and to ensure that inpatient hospital/restoration center treatment is provided in environments that foster empowerment, dignity, and recovery, consistent with Community Support Program (CSP) principles. Since all patients are admitted to state hospitals through the county mental health system, the bureau collaborates with county, local hospital, and community provider staff, constituents, and other stakeholders to establish effective community/hospital linkages and continuity of care for patients discharged back into the community. The bureau collaborates with other OMHSAS bureaus and divisions in planning, developing, and implementing community integration initiatives as a resource for expanding community-based services in order to enhance the Commonwealth's development of a Recovery-supporting Approach to service.
  • Operation and oversight of South Mountain Restoration Center
    • South Mountain Restoration Center is a 159-bed licensed long-term care facility dedicated to providing compassionate, professional quality care to residents.
    • The Center is licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and certified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Center is licensed and certified on an annual basis.
    • The Center serves individuals from the local communities and throughout the Commonwealth and provides care to persons who have histories of serious psychiatric illness, persons who have lived for many years in state centers, and persons who have been incarcerated. Residents admitted to the Center must be certified by the Area Agency on Aging as needing nursing home care.
    • It is the Center's mission to restore people to a full and satisfying life while recognizing the need to maintain the fundamental dignity of the individual and their right to care, remedial therapy, training, and rehabilitative services as best fit their needs. The ultimate goal of the Center, when possible, is to have residents return to their home community.
    • The Center is managed by the Chief Executive Officer/Nursing Home Administrator under the administrative umbrella of the Bureau of Community and Hospital Operations.

Bureau Contact Information:

Phil Mader, Director
P. O. Box 2675
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2675

Community and Hospital Operations: 717-783-8335
Fax: 717-787-2866