The program promotes and enables independence and consumer empowerment by granting consumers more control over their personal care needs.

A consumer has the ability to:
  • Recruit, interview, train, schedule, supervise and dismiss the Personal Assistant(s) of their choice – independently, or with the assistance of an advocate.
  • Verify their Personal Assistant’s time sheets to ensure accuracy before they are submitted.
  • Hire as many Personal Assistants as may be deemed necessary to satisfy the consumer’s needs, and as authorized by the Service Provider.

What Is CDPAP?

CDPAP stands for the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, a part of the Medicaid program in New York State. The CDPA program focuses on people with chronic medical conditions or physical disabilities who have trouble with daily living activities. They can stay in their own homes if they have assistance with some tasks, such as administering injections, taking medications on time, and monitoring health indicators. Under this plan, participating clients can take a more active role in their home care by choosing their caregivers, who may be a family member, loved one, or friend. This arrangement is less stressful for many consumers. In exchange for this freedom of choice, known as consumer direction, the client takes on the responsibility to identify, train, and manage the home health aides instead of using staff from home care agencies.

What Services Can a Caregiver Provide Under the CDPAP?

Under the CDPA program, a caregiver can perform services typically provided through a home health agency. Because the client does the training, the family member/caregiver doesn’t need to hold any specific license or certification for the services provided. These tasks are referred to collectively as Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Services (CDPAS) and may include various things under the category of personal home care assistance.

  • Homemaker tasks are non-medical things such as cooking and cleaning. Many family members do this for their loved ones already. CDPAP lets them get paid for these efforts.
  • Personal care tasks involve the care of the body, and they can be medical or non-medical. Assisting the client with hygiene tasks and dressing are examples of personal care tasks.
  • Home health tasks may involve medical skills but can be performed by someone other than a nurse. Some examples are giving injections and dressing wounds.

Caregivers need to have a self-care plan. Taking care of someone else all the time can be stressful, so the CDPAP plan should include respite services. Burnout is real and affects every aspect of wellness, physical, mental, and emotional. Caregivers who don’t allow time for themselves may find themselves fatigued, stressed, and depressed. They may develop health problems of their own, and they may engage in unhealthy behaviors such as excessive alcohol consumption and prescription drug abuse. Trusted Choice can help you develop a plan to take care of the caregivers.

What Are the Benefits of CDPAP Services?

For many chronically ill or disabled people, having a stranger come into the home to provide personal care is an uncomfortable arrangement. They would much prefer that friends or family members serve as caregivers. However, an adult relative, friend, or family member needs to work to provide for themselves or their households.

  • Under the CDPA program, those potential caregivers can get paid to take care of the client, ensuring they still have an income source.
  • The caregiver serving as the home health aide can be an adult son or daughter over the age of 21 but cannot be a consumer’s spouse.
  • The provider of home care services can live in the client’s home if necessary.
  • If the home attendant is an immigrant, they must have appropriate work permit documentation to be paid by the plan.
  • The state saves money in several ways when the CDPAP plans allow a consumer to stay in the home rather than skilled nursing, assisted living facility, or other long-term care settings.

How Do I Apply to Participate in the CDPAP?

Before you can apply to participate in the CDPAP, you must be a New York State Medicaid program enrollee who qualifies for personal care, home health care, private duty nursing, AIDS care, or another waiver program. If you aren’t enrolled but feel you may qualify, Trusted Choice Home Care could help you with the Medicaid application and enrollment process.

Once you enroll in the Medicaid program, participation in the CDPAP requires an order from your doctor or another primary medical care provider. The professional must indicate that the program participants’ condition is stable enough to benefit from care under the CDPAP. The referral goes to your local social services district, which sets up an assessment.

The evaluation must make several determinations. First, the assessment must find that the client is a self-directing person, which means that they can fully understand and participate in the program. Because clients must hire, train, and supervise their caregivers, they must be able to do all this, keep up with documentation, and make accurate records. Clients must have the ability to make informed decisions about their care plan and create an environment where caregivers can successfully take care of the client. Home care consumers must also demonstrate an understanding of the responsibilities and possible consequences of participating in the CDPAP.

If a client cannot be a self-directing person, a capable representative can take on that role. This designated representative can make decisions about care and transportation. However, the appointed representative cannot also serve as the aide.

Second, the assessment determines how much care the client needs. The report recommends a number of hours of care, a schedule for the services, including how often the personal assistant will visit, how long each visit will last, and how long the care continues. If the assessment finds that the consumer’s condition is too severe to be managed under the CDPAP, social services may deny participation.

How Can Trusted Choice Home Care Help Me With the CDPAP?

Trusted Choice Home Care is a fiscal intermediary (FI) for the CDPAP program in New York State and has been since November of 2016. The fiscal intermediary contracts with and pays the client’s chosen aide and then receives Medicaid reimbursement. The personal assistant is an employee of the client, not of the FI. 

While the process may seem complicated, Trusted Choice can help you through it step by step. We work with most insurance companies and the local Department of Social Services offices. We offer personalized customer service that’s available 24 hours a day, every day of the week, to the client and family members. As an experienced home care services agency, Trusted Choice could answer any questions individuals might have about Medicaid, health benefits, the role of loved ones, and the provision of care services under the CDPAP. Contact us today to get the process started. You can reach out by phone in Buffalo by calling (716) 431-5550, and in Rochester by calling (585) 785-3004. We’re here to help!

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