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What It Is

Individuals participating in state 1915(c) Medicaid waiver programs have the option to enroll in Participant-Directed Services (PDS). PDS allow individuals to hire their own providers for non-medical, non-residential waiver services. These providers can be certain family members, friends, neighbors or provider agencies. This option gives participants greater freedom of choice, flexibility and control over their supports and services. PDS formerly was known as the Consumer-Directed Option.

Eligibility

Individuals receiving services through the following waivers may participate in the PDS program.  

If you are interested in enrolling in the PDS program, contact your case manager.

Services  

Individuals can hire their own employees for the following services:

  • ABI and ABI LTC
    • Community Guide: Provides support to an individual who  uses the PDS program
    • Community Living Supports: Help with personal care and homemaking needs
    • Day Training: Designed to help an individual participate in meaningful, daily routines within the community
    • Goods and Services: Items, equipment or services designed to reduce the need for personal care, increase the ability to live independently and/or increase safety while living at home
    • Respite: Provides a short-term break for primary, unpaid caregivers.
    • Supported Employment: Provides helping finding and retaining a job.
  • HCB
    • Environmental and Minor Home Adaptations: Changes to a person's home that ensure their health, safety and welfare, increase independence and allow them to continue to live in the community
    • Goods and Services: Items, equipment or services designed to reduce an individual's need for personal care, help them live more independently and/or increase their safety while living at home
    • Home and Community Supports: Help with personal care and homemaking needs
    • Non-Specialized Respite: Provides a shortterm break for primary, unpaid caregivers
  • MPW and SCL
    • Community Access: Designed to help a waiver participants be more involved in their communities
    • Community Guide: Provides support PDS program participants
    • Day Training: Designed to help with meaningful, daily routines within the community
    • Environmental Accessibility Adaptation: Changes to a person's home that ensure their health, safety and welfare, increase independence and allow them to continue to live in the community
    • Goods and Services: Items, equipment or services designed to reduce an individual's need for personal care, help them live more independently, and/or increase their safety while living at home
    • Natural Supports Training: Education and support for those who provide unpaid care to an individual
    • Personal Assistance: Help with personal care and homemaking needs
    • Respite: Provides a short term break for a person's primary, unpaid caregiver
    • Shared Living: Allows an individual to live in their own home with a roommate or live-in caregiver who provides some of their supports
    • Supported Employment: Provides assistance to individuals who wish to work by helping them find and retain a job
    • Transportation: Non-medical transportation that provides individuals a way to get to activities in the community
    • Vehicle Adaptation: Changes to a person's vehicle that help them reduce their dependence on others and become more involved in the community

PDS Questions and Answers

Do I have to receive all of my services through the PDS option? No. You can receive some of your services through the PDS option while receiving others through traditional service providers. This is known as blended services.

What is a support broker and why do I need one? All waiver participants who choose the PDS option have a support broker. The support broker will help you:

  • Enroll in PDS
  • Develop your plan of care and support spending plan
  • Locate service providers and negotiating rates
  • Hire, supervise, and fire your employees
  • Coordinate with traditional providers
  • Transition you back to traditional services if you choose to discontinue PDS services

To find a support broker, you can contact one of the Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and Community Mental Health Centers   (CMHCs). Once you choose PDS, you will no longer have a case manager through a traditional agency.

What are my responsibilities if I enroll in the PDS program?

You must:

  • Work with the support broker to develop a plan of care, support spending plan, and an emergency back-up plan
  • Hire, train, schedule, and fire staff
  • Follow the plan of care, support spending plan, and keep within his/her budget
  • Choose a PDS representative if needed or desired
  • Submit paperwork on time

Who can I hire as my employee?

You can hire some family members, friends, neighbors, and provider agencies. Your employees must be at least 18 years old and submit to a criminal background check. The support broker will assist you with hiring and training employees.

How will my employees be paid?

You will keep track of the service or services your employee performs and submit a timesheet. A financial management agency will pay your employee(s) for providing PDS services and make sure all state and federal laws are met, such as withholding enough money to pay for taxes. Area Development Districts and Community Mental Health Centers serve as financial management agencies for PDS.

What if I need help directing my services?

You can choose a qualified friend or family member to be your representative. Your representative cannot charge for the help they provide and will not be a paid employee.

What training is required?

You, your representative, and your employees must complete training on person-centered planning and self-determination. Training will be available on abuse, neglect and exploitation prevention, recognition, and reporting. You can also require additional training of your employees based on your specific needs.  

Will I be given a budget?

Yes. You will be given a budget amount based on past service utilization. The Department for Medicaid Services will determine the budget amount. You will use the budget to negotiate rates with employees and complete your support spending plan.

What if I decide I don't want to be in PDS anymore?

Let your support broker know and they will work with you to transition back to traditional services.

Documentation