What is the difference between CDPAP and CDPAS?

Read to the end to find out the difference between CDPAP and CDPAS and how we can ensure that the best care is found for those who need it. 

Here we have two similar acronyms so, for starters, what do they stand for?

  • CDPAP – Consumer-Directed Personal Assistance Program.
  • CDPAS – Consumer-Directed Personal Assistance Service.

Two becomes one 

So what’s the difference between the program and the service?

CDPAP and CDPAS may seem confusing for some people but they can simply be thought of as two sides of the same coin of care.

Essentially they are the same thing really, whereas CDPAP refers to the general program itself, CDPAS entails the specific services that the program offers.

On this site you can find out more about the program in other articles such as this one:

How does the CDPAP program work?

So let’s look at the services

What is the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Service (CDPAS)?

CDPAS is a Medicaid home care service designed for those who need and are eligible for home care, personal care, or skilled nursing services, and want to stay in control over who those services are provided by.

You have to be “self-directing”, which means being capable of making safe decisions for yourself.  

Alternatively, you can choose some person close to you, who you already know, who is willing and able to act as your “self-directing other” (SDO). 

Either you or your SDO:

  • will be in charge of directing your own home care services; 
  • are responsible for finding, interviewing, hiring, training, supervising and terminating the contracts of your personal assistants.

What do you mean by “self-directing”?

What a self-directing person is?

Self-directing persons are able to:

  • make safe choices about their activities in daily life, 
  • understand the effect of those choices, 
  • take responsibility for the consequences of the choices. 

Characteristics of a self-directing consumer are the following:

They are alert, they can demonstrate unimpaired judgment and make decisions that do not place the consumer or others at risk, and can manage their own affairs. They know exactly what to do in event of an emergency that threatens their health or safety, and can find appropriate help, either verbally in person or with the help of a device such as a phone. They can find help in times when the CDPAS is not being provided, including when services are unexpectedly interrupted because of bad weather or when a personal assistant falls ill.

What a self-directing person is not?

This would be someone who lacks the ability to make safe choices about daily activities. They do not understand the consequences of those choices and cannot or do not take full responsibility for the ramifications of their choices.  

Characteristics of non-self-directing consumers are as follows:

They could be delusional, disoriented occasionally, suffer periods of irritation or exhibit behavior that is erratic or unpredictable. The consumer may tend to wander about carelessly, endangering their physical safety through exposure to extremes of hot and cold water for instance, or the misuse of home appliances and equipment. They might behave in ways harmful to themselves or others, such as hiding their medication, taking their medication without the doctor knowing, they may also refuse or not understand how to seek help in an emergency.

What services does the Personal Assistant provide?

After an assessment has been carried out by the registered nurse, a Plan of Care will be tailored to your particular needs. The plan will outline what tasks the assistant can perform and only these tasks, for example, your assistant cannot be paid by Medicaid while doing work that is not in your Medicaid Plan of Care. If you have doubts about what tasks your personal assistant can do, you can ask the registered nurse.

If you decide to use the CDPAS model, what are the Personal Assistant’s responsibilities?

You will need to ensure the appropriate employment paperwork is filled out for each worker and that they are cleared to work by the Fiscal Intermediary.  We will help guide you through the employment paperwork.

You will follow the Plan of Care created by the registered nurse assigned to you. The assistants are only authorized to perform tasks on the Plan of Care. You will approve your assistant’s timesheets and ensure that they are only paid for the time they work.  You will make sure you have backup personal assistants just in case your primary assistant falls ill or goes on vacation.

What if you do not have Medicaid?

You must have Medicaid and be eligible for home care services to qualify for CDPAS.  You may contact your county Department of Social Services or Human Services (DSS) or your Managed Care Organization or your Managed Long Term Care Organization to express your interest in CDPAS.

A county representative or managed care organization representative helps you. With your doctor’s help, they work out whether or not you qualify for the program.

If you do not have Medicaid, qualifying and applying for Medicaid can be a difficult process involving a complete evaluation of your income and assets. The rules change all the time so it is better to work with the county department of social services to establish if you are eligible or not.

If you have Medicaid and qualify for Home Care Services what’s next?
Feel free to contact us about CDPAP and CDPAS and we will help you through the process.

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