PCA businesses in Minnesota should start getting ready to transition from personal care assistance (“PCA”) to Community First Services and Supports (“CFSS”). This change will be more than just nomenclature but most aspects of a PCA agency should remain the same. Clients who were eligible for services before will still be eligible and the covered services are the same. Personal care assistants, managers, and qualified professionals will require brief training to be certified under the new system. Rates are not expected to change although they could go up.
What will change is that persons receiving services have an option to become the employer through a budget delivery model. That means the CFSS participant is his or her own employer of the support worker. They will have a budget rather than a certain amount of service units. They will be responsible for finding, hiring, and training a support worker. They will not need a traditional agency but they will need to select a financial management services (FMS) provider to ensure they comply with applicable laws and regulations. This could mean that current PCA agencies may lose clients who choose to opt in to the budget model. The CFSS system will also allow for eligible participants to use funds to purchase equipment or other items that help them be more independent.
The agency model will continue to be an option as well, however, so PCA agencies (soon to be CFSS agencies) will not all be going away. And, new guidelines will allow for a spouse or parent of a minor to be a support worker which could increase demand. The guidelines also allow for a budget that the agency may use to train workers on the individual needs of the client. Finally there are also opportunities for existing agencies to become a financial management services agency and/or a consultation services provider agency.
These changes coming soon to Minnesota are largely driven by federal policies and the Minnesota Department of Human Services has been working on the transition for some time. The statutory structure is already codified at Minn. Stat. Section 256B.85. Stay tuned for more information!
V. John Ella is a Minnesota attorney who has represented a number of PCA businesses. Trepanier MacGillis Battina P.A. is a business law firm located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.