The emphasis of the program is the consumer and their needs. Formerly known as Personal Assistance Services (PAS), the state of Missouri renamed this program Consumer Directed Services (CDS) because the focal point of this service is the consumer. The participant in MO Healthnet is empowered by the CDS program to direct their care to their respective specifications. Care being provided by attendants in this program is specialized to the needs of the individual consumers so that they can remain the priority throughout all services.
The attendant can be anyone, with the exception of a spouse, which allows the participant to choose whomever they are most comfortable with providing their individualized care. It is important to ensure that the consumer trusts the person who is providing their services and feels safe having this person in their home and intimate living spaces. Because of the freedom of care and choice in the hiring process, the consumer can choose virtually any friend, family member, or trusted individual to care for them.
No Extra Costs
CDS is a program included in Medicaid, meaning that there is no additional personal cost to members to participate in this program. Although spend-downs still apply to members who qualify, the payment for caregivers is included in the authorization made by the state. The State of Missouri will pay for a caregiver, up to the authorized number of hours in a given month, to see to the needs of a participant, provided they are have active Medicaid and qualify for the program.
Acts of Service
Services that the care attendant can perform for the consumer are all activities of daily living which range from meal preparation to laundry to cleaning floors depending on the unique needs of the consumer. The purpose of the program is to meet the needs of participants, which is why the care plan is authorized based on units of service rather than hours of work for an attendant. While paying a family caregiver is a nice bonus, it is not the purpose of the program. The member’s needs always take priority.
Everyone needs a little help sometimes and CDS Agencies should always be there for their clients. While the consumer is the sole employer of the participant, they don’t have to process payroll for their caregivers or be concerned about tax withholdings for those paychecks. Agencies, such as Emerest Health of Missouri, provide financial management services for CDS participants so that the participants can spend their time getting the help they need. Emerest is always just a phone call or text message away to provide cheerful support for their clients.
Participants can receive their services whenever is best for them and their attendant, whether that be in the morning or late into the evening. Caregivers are no limited to clocking in during specific hours, because they understand that clients cannot always schedule when they will need help in advance.