Consumer-Directed Models of Personal Care: Lessons from Medicaid

“Consumer-directed” models of financing and services delivery are compared with models that emphasize professional control and accountability within the context of Medicaid-financed personal care services (PCS). The Medicaid PCS benefit finances aide or attendant services for low-income persons with functional disabilities to assist them with daily living tasks. Consumer-directed modes of service provision permit service recipients themselves to have greater choice and control over all aspects of service provision. Client surveys in three states found that clients were most satisfied with the program elements of Medicaid PCS services that gave them more choice and control. Case studies of how Medicaid PCS programs in particular states are administered indicate that the use of aides who are independent providers, unattached to a home health or home care agency, is a critical aspect of consumer direction. By itself, however, this factor does not guarantee consumer direction because other Medicaid PCS rules and regulations may restrict client choice and control.

Author(s): Pamela Doty; Judith Kasper; Simi Litvak

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Volume 74, Issue 3 (pages 377–409)
Published in 1996