Consumer Directed Services FAQ

What does Emerest do?

We are a home healthcare agency that works with Missouri’s Consumer Directed Services (CDS) program. Emerest Health pays the highest wages for CDS in Missouri and enables you to hire the caregiver of your choice.

What is Consumer Directed Services (CDS)?

Consumer Directed Services (CDS) is a Medicaid-based program that provides personal care attendant (PCA) services to individuals with disabilities, enabling them to live independently in their own homes and communities. Participants in the CDS program employ a personal care attendant (PCA) of their choice to assist them with activities of daily living. The tasks may include grooming, bathing, toileting, meal preparation, housekeeping, laundry, essential transportation and other tasks. Participants are responsible for hiring and managing their attendants. A qualified friend or family member may be hired as a PCA (with a few exceptions). The goal of this program is to help participants live independently and choose someone they trust to provide them with care.

Does this service cost money?

No! Emerest is free for all Medicaid patients. As long as you qualify for CDS you will not be charged any fees or taxes for switching to Emerest. This program is funded by Medicaid, so you never have to worry about paying us.

Can I receive Consumer Directed Services CDS where I live?​

If you live in Missouri, Emerest can provide you with CDS services. We serve every county in the state.

What are the qualifications to receive CDS?

If you meet the below criteria you may be eligible for CDS:
  • Have Medicaid
  • Over the age of 18
  • Able to direct your own care
Once you are deemed eligible by Missouri’s Division of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), you can enroll. We’re happy to help walk you through this process! Call us at 1-833-We-Pay-12 to find out more!

How can I become a Consumer Directed Services (CDS) participant?

Missouri’s Medicaid program is called MO HealthNet. If you are not yet enrolled, call them at 855-835-3505 to get started. Once you enroll in MO HealthNet, you can apply for CDS through DHSS. They will perform an assessment to determine the kind of assistance and personal care you can receive through this program.

We want to make this process as easy for you as possible. To find out more, call us at 1-833-937-2912.

I currently have Consumer Directed Services (CDS). How can I switch to Emerest?

At Emerest, we make it easy to switch! If you’d like to switch your CDS provider just call us at 1-833-937-2912. We’ll take care of the rest.

How long does it take to switch CDS providers?

Switching CDS providers will generally take 2 weeks. At Emerest we provide you with updates to ensure you’re notified about every step in the process. You will not lose services during the transition period.

Who can become a personal care attendant (PCA)?

Any qualified caregiver chosen by the CDS program participant, including a family member (other than a spouse) can be a personal care attendant. As a participant, you will hire, train, and give directions to your caregiver. While specific tasks may vary, most care assistants help with tasks like bathing, personal hygiene, mobility, transportation, taking medications, cooking, laundry, and cleaning. At Emerest all PCA’s earn $12/hour.

Who pays a personal care attendant?

Personal care attendants (PCAs) are compensated on an hourly basis. The PCA will be paid $12/hour by Emerest with funds from Medicaid. Please note, the PCA is not an employee of Emerest. Rather, the PCA is an employee of the CDS participant!

How many hours a day of service can a consumer receive?

The current maximum number of hours a month that a CDS participant may receive is approximately 130. Therefore, a participant may receive approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes a day of CDS, depending on the number of days in a month and their personal care needs.

Can I get paid to take care of family?

Yes, you can get paid to take care of your family! You can get paid to care for an elderly parent or other family member. However, spouses are not eligible. For example, a wife cannot get paid to care for her husband.  If your elderly or disabled family member lives in Missouri and qualifies for Consumer Directed Services, Emerest will pay you $12 per hour to care for them. Contact us today at 1-833-WE-PAY-12 (1-833-937-2912) to learn more.

If I have CDS can Emerest help me obtain more hours?

At Emerest we perform a comprehensive evaluation of each participant to ensure that their personal care needs are met. At times this may entail requesting additional hours of service. Call us at 833-937-2912 to speak with one of our specialists to see if you’d qualify for additional hours.

Does Emerest really pay Personal Care Attendants $12 per hour?

Yes! PCA’s are W-2 employees of the consumer (i.e. the patient) and pay taxes on all wages they earn. No earnings, other than Federal, State, County, City or other government mandated taxes, are deducted from a PCA’s pay of $12.00 per Hour.

We know that quality care strongly correlates with compensation. When we pay PCA’s a respectable wage, they provide better care to their patient, thus benefiting the patient, their family, the community, the State of Missouri and the PCA. Emerest believes the CDS program plays a vital role in the health and happiness of many Missourians and is grateful to enable families and friends to care for each other with respect and dignity.

Will I lose hours when I switch to Emerest?

Switching will not impact your hours. You will maintain your current service hours when you switch to Emerest. In fact, Emerest will perform a complementary evaluation to see if you qualify for additional service hours!

Does Emerest pay the consumer’s taxes?

Yes, all consumer taxes and payments are handled by Emerest and overseen by a certified public accountant. We work closely with the IRS, Missouri Department of Revenue and local tax authorities to ensure that all taxes are properly filed and paid.

Does Emerest hold events for caregivers and consumers?

Yes, Emerest hosts several annual holiday parties across the state of Missouri for all our caregivers and consumers. Additionally, all caregivers and consumers are eligible for our seasonal gifts, welcome packages and wellness program.

How do caregivers record their visits?

Emerest offers caregivers two easy systems to record their visits.

  • Telephony
  • Mobile App

Caregivers and Consumers can choose to use either (or both) systems. Emerest provides comprehensive training to make it easy for caregivers and consumers to understand and use these systems.

With Emerest you’ll never have to fill out a paper timesheet again! So no more trips to the office or money wasted on stamps. With our systems you can record your visit and get paid without any hassle or extra expense.

Is $12 an hour an introductory rate? Will Emerest lower my pay after I’ve switched over?

Emerest is committed to paying $12 an hour on an ongoing basis, not just as an introductory rate. Please know that we strive to pay CDS caregivers as much as possible and caregivers will never be paid less than $12 an hour.

What is the switching process?

Switching to Emerest is super easy! It takes just 5 minutes. Here’s the 3-step process:

  1. Call us at 833-We-Pay-12
  2. We’ll send some documents for you and your caregiver to sign
  3. The state of Missouri will call you to confirm the switch

That’s it! Now your caregiver will receive $12 an hour! Also, you’ll be part of the Emerest family and will benefit from:

  • Exceptional Customer Service
  • Annual Holiday Parties
  • Welcome Package
  • Seasonal Gift Program
  • Caregiver Wellness Program

Interested in Switching Providers?

Switch to Emerest and start earning $12 an hour. CDS is a Medicaid-funded program that enables you to earn wages while helping a loved one with their daily activities. Enjoy benefits such as:

  • Weekly Pay and Direct Deposit
  • Exceptional Customer Support
  • No Fees, Ever

Fill out this form and we'll be in touch!

Am I Eligible?

CDS is a Medicaid-funded program that enables you to hire the caregiver of your choice to help with daily activities. If you meet the below criteria you may be eligible for CDS:

  • Have Medicaid
  • Live in Missouri
  • Need help with day-to-day activities
  • Able to direct your own care

Fill out this form and we'll be in touch!

Am I Eligible?

CDS is a Medicaid-funded program that enables you to hire the caregiver of your choice to help with daily activities. If you meet the below criteria you may be eligible for CDS:

  • Have Medicaid
  • Live in Missouri
  • Need help with day-to-day activities
  • Able to direct your own care

Already have CDS? You can switch today!?

Fill out this form and we'll be in touch!