What is Consumer Directed Services?
Consumer Directed Services or CDS is a Home and Community Based Service program covered under Medicaid that helps people with significant disabilities obtain assistance with personal care. The CDS program assists individuals with daily activities so they can maintain their independence at home and in the community by allowing them to hire a caregiver known as a Personal Care Attendant or PCA of their choosing- other than a spouse.
In this program, the individual with the disability is referred to as a Consumer rather than a client or a patient. The Personal Care Attendant does not “take care of” a Consumer, they assist the Consumer in living independently.
A Personal Care Attendant does the things that the Consumer is unable to do alone and assists with the things that would take the Consumer an exceptionally long time to do on their own. The care that a PCA provides enables individuals with disabilities to live more independently and pursue other activities such as school or work. The duties of the PCA vary depending on the need for physical assistance with activities of daily living, the nature of disability, living arrangement, and daily schedule. Personal Care Attendant assistance could include meal preparation, cleaning, person hygiene or other tasks determined by each Consumer’s Plan of Care or POC. It does not include any task that needs to be performed by a licensed professional.
With the assistance of WILS staff, CDS program participants are trained to hire their own Personal Care Attendant. The CDS program Consumer, is the employer and is responsible for hiring, training, scheduling, and if necessary, firing their PCA(s).
What are the eligibility requirements for the Consumer Directed Services program?
- Be eligible for Medicaid (MO HealthNet)
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Be disabled
- Be able to self direct care according to needs
- Hire, train, schedule, supervise and terminate their Personal Care Attendant
- Be capable of receiving training on PCA management from WILS staff
Who pays for the Consumer Directed Services PCA?
The CDS program and Personal Care Attendant pay is covered through Medicaid. Attendants can make up to $12 per hour and that decision is left up to the Consumer. WILS acts as the fiscal agent and is responsible for processing the Attendant payroll and taxes, but the Consumer is the employer of the Attendant.
Are you interested in becoming a Consumer?
The first step to become enrolled in the CDS program and become a WILS consumer is to complete the intake form online or call our office at 855-WILSWAY and ask to complete an intake form. Once the intake has been submitted, a WILS staff member will contact you and walk you through the rest of the process. We’d be honored to welcome you in as a part of the WILS family! If you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office Monday through Friday, 8am – 5pm and any WILS staff member would be happy to help.
What is a Personal Care Attendant?
A Personal Care Attendant may also be referred to as a PCA, Attendant, caregiver, or personal care aide. A PCA gives assistance to people who are physically disabled, chronically ill, cognitively challenged, elderly and/or fragile, by assisting the individual with personal care needs in the individual’s home. Attendants do not need any special license or certifications because they do not do any tasks that should be performed by a licensed professional.
The Personal Care Attendant is hired, trained, scheduled, supervised, and if necessary fired by the Consumer Directed Services program participant who is known as the Consumer.
What are the responsibilities of a PCA?
- Assist consumers with their needs according to each consumer’s Plan of Care
- Assist consumer with activities of daily living as needed
- Assist consumer with grooming
- Assist consumer with bathing
- Assist consumer with housekeeping
- Assist with laundry
- Assist with meal preparation
- Assist consumer with essential transportation
Are you interested in becoming a Personal Care Attendant?
Attendants must be at least 18 years of age and be able to pass a basic background screening. Consumers choose their PCA, but WILS keeps a file of interested Attendant applicants on file for their review. If you would like to be considered, please fill out the PCA caregiver interest form online.