Can I Get Paid to Care for My Elderly Parents?

Customer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) Explained

For many older adults, starting home health care services can feel like a major leap of faith, as many people are hesitant to bring a newcomer into their homes to assist with what can feel like very private tasks.

Relying on a family caregiver, neighbor or friend can help overcome these reservations, but home caregiving can be extremely demanding for the caregiver and recipient alike, especially when a caregiver must choose between attending work and caring for a patient.

Fortunately, New York State offers a solution to this conundrum with it Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP), which allows Medicaid-eligible home health care recipients to identify a reliable family member or friend as their home care provider.  To offset financial burdens, this caregiver is paid an hourly wage to provide patient care, ranging from assistance with daily living activities to more complex medical procedures typically performed by nurses.

Care for elderly parents

Who can use CDPAP?

The CDPAP program is meant for Medicaid-eligible individuals with longstanding but stable medical conditions that necessitate some form of home health care who are enrolled in a Medicaid Managed Care plans (MMC) or Managed Long Term Care plan (MLTC).  Additionally, participants must be self-directing in their care and capable of managing the hiring, scheduling and training of their caregiver, or have a designated representative capable of handling these tasks.

Who can be a CDPAP Caregiver?

Patients have the right to select anyone the trust as their CDPAP home caregiver, provided they are confident the person they choose can provide the care they need and is aged 18 or older, provided they are not a spouse.  There is no certification requirement to qualify as a caregiver, as the patient or their representative is responsible for training the caregiver in any tasks they will need to complete.

How to enroll in CDPAP

To enroll, patients must contact their MMC or MLTC case worker and indicate that they wish to participate in CDPAP.  The caseworker will then provide the patient with a medical assessment form that must be completed and returned by the patient’s primary care physician.  After receiving the form, specialists will visit with the patient for a nursing and social work assessment to determine if a patient will be a good fit for the program. These assessments will also determine how many paid hours of care the patient can receive every week and what type of care the caregiver will be expected to provide, culminating in a document known as the Plan of Care.

Once a patient is approved for the program, they can choose or will be directed to a Fiscal Intermediary.  The patient’s Fiscal Intermediary (typically a certified home health care agency) will receive all time sheets and related documentation for the care provided, submit time sheets to Medicaid, and pay the family caregiver with these funds.

It is very important that prospective CDPAP patients and their caregivers speak with their Fiscal Intermediary about that organization’s specific policies regarding this program, as these policies vary from organization to organization.

Pay rates for CDPAP caregivers in New York State vary depending on the FI’s contract with the state, however all CDPAP caregivers are entitled to benefits like sick pay, vacation pay and health benefits, all of which are managed by the patient’s FI.

Important considerations before joining CDPAP

CDPAP is a great program for those hesitant to rely on an unfamiliar caregiver for assistance, but there are important considerations you should make before joining the program.

Remember, you are responsible for training your family caregiver on how to perform any and all medical tasks included in your Plan of Care.  Some FI agencies assist patients in this process by offering training services for new caregivers, taking pressure of the patient.

Additionally, since CDPAP patients establish a relationship with a single caregiver, there isn’t much support available in the event a caregiver cannot reach the client on a given day due to an illness or other emergency. Typically, a traditional home health care agency can provide clients with an alternate caregiver in the event the primary caregiver is unavailable.

Finally, caring for a friend or family member can be a real challenge for individuals who are new to working in a medical setting.  That’s why it is critical that patients have a full, frank discussion with a possible family caregiver to fully outline their needs and expectations.

As you can see, CDPAP has the potential to really make a difference in the lives of those struggling to manage their medical conditions on their own through the care and compassion of those closest to the patient, while rewarding family caregivers for their dedication to the patient.

Because SelectCare does not work with Medicaid, we cannot serve as a Fiscal Intermediary for our clients; however, our staff of home health care experts is here to provide any and all support you need to make an informed decision about your home health care.  Our team can also link families with additional community resources and organizations specifically tailored to helping Medicaid-eligible patients, like the Medicare and Medicaid Advisory Group.

To learn more about SelectCare and how we help, call us today or request a free home health care guide.