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Health and Family Services Cabinet
KyHealth Choices Launches New Consumer-Directed Program

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, October 11, 2006  
Contact Information:  Gwenda Bond or Beth Crace, (502) 564-6786  

Enrollment Open for Program Designed to Increase Service Options for Medicaid Members

The Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) announced today that approximately 14,000 KyHealth Choices members can now have greater flexibility in choosing care providers for home-based services through a new consumer-directed program.

“Our Medicaid modernization initiative was designed to bring Medicaid into the realm of 21st century health care. One of its major goals is to develop new ways to encourage personal responsibility and involvement by members in decisions that impact their health," said Governor Ernie Fletcher. "Members who select this new program will have greater flexibility in choosing services and in deciding who provides their care.”

Eligible KyHealth Choices members may now enroll in the new consumer-directed program, which will allow them greater choice in selecting care providers for respite care, personal care, homemaking and attendant care services. Known as Consumer Directed Option (CDO), the program allows those who qualify to direct their non-medical waiver services. The new program stems from House Bill 116, which was sponsored by Rep. Jimmie Lee, D-Elizabethtown, and passed during the 2004 General Assembly.

Rep. Lee said, "My hope is that Consumer Directed Option is just the beginning of programs allowing Medicaid members more control of their own care. Let’s keep our vulnerable citizens in their own homes and allow them to decide how and who helps them to stay there.”

DMS has partnered with the CHFS Division of Aging Services to provide support and financial management for the CDO program using the Area Agencies on Aging and Area Development Districts.

“This program is another vital piece of our overall effort to encourage KyHealth Choices members to receive the right care at the right time in the right setting. We intend to expand CDO to serve others within Medicaid in the coming year,” said Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) Secretary Mark D. Birdwhistell. "This program is also breaking down silos within government, by allowing those serving Kentucky's aging population – the percentage of which is growing faster than the national average - to partner with Medicaid."

KyHealth Choices members served under the Home and Community Based (HCB) waiver who choose CDO will be able to hire family members, friends or neighbors to provide their non-medical waiver services. Service providers must be at least 18 years old, be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and first aid, undergo a criminal background check and complete training on person-centered planning and self-determination. Members who need assistance in directing their services can select a representative to assist them.

For more information, HCB waiver members can call their current case manager, their local Agency on Aging, the Medicaid Division of Long Term Care and Community Alternatives at (502) 564-7540 or Medicaid Member Services at 1-800-635-2570. 


Last Updated 10/11/2006