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Merger unites disability service agencies

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A midstate nonprofit assisting people with disabilities in accessing Medicaid-funded services is joining forces with a similar organization from the Johnstown area.

Service Coordination of South Central Pennsylvania, based in Hanover, is merging with Alleghenies Unlimited Cerebral Palsy from Cambria Township near Johnstown. The merger is being facilitated by the Philadelphia health care consulting firm XtraGlobex Inc.

Service Coordination will adopt Alleghenies' name and brand at its Hanover office and at a satellite office in Chambersburg. Staff at both locations will not be affected by the change.

Alongside its Cambria Township location, Alleghenies also operates offices in Allegheny Township in Blair County and another in the city of St. Mary's in Elks County.

Service Coordination serves adults with disabilities and senior citizens in York, Adams, Franklin and Fulton counties, helping clients obtain Medicaid-funded services such as in-home care, assistive technology and vocational training. The company has 14 full-time employees.

Alleghenies is a statewide nonprofit providing similar support coordination as Service Coordination, including work with people who are elderly or who have a disability. 

In a statement, Alleghenies CEO Tammy Rhoades said the merger will "allow us to address changes in regulations and meet our participants’ needs more effectively.”

Alleghenies reported an annual revenue of $2 million on its 2015 tax filings, while Service Coordination reported an annual revenue of $1 million on its 2015 tax filings. 

Alleghenies and Service Coordination help clients apply and utilize Medicaid waivers that the clients can exchange for a wide variety of services and supports, from transportation to long-term residential care. Administered by various agencies within the state Department of Human Services, applicants must prove eligibility before receiving dedicated waivers.

Over 13,000 Pennsylvanians are currently on waiting lists for waivers, according to the Pennsylvania Waiting List Campaign. Of those on the waiting list, over 4,000 are in need of emergency support.

One of the largest categories of waivers facilitated by companies like Alleghenies is adult autism waivers, designed to help adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. In January, Gov. Tom Wolf announced the expansion of a new waiver designed to help adults with developmental disabilities participate in the community and potentially find work.

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