The State of Minnesota has several programs designed to help older adults and persons with disabilities. The Personal Care Assistance (PCA) Program administers by the Minnesota Department of Human Services. The PCA Program or PCA Services pay under the State’s Medical Assistance program.
About PCA Services
Personal Care Assistant (PCA) Services are a type of Home Care Service that helps people in Minnesota with their non-medical health related needs and day-to-day activities. The goal of Personal Care Assistant Services is to help people live independently in their own homes and in the community. PCA Services are available to individuals of all ages with special health care needs and are a paid benefit under Medical Assistance.
PCA Services help people with:
- Activities of Daily Living including eating, toileting, grooming, dressing, bathing, transferring, mobility, and positioning.
- Instrumental Activities of Daily Living including meal planning and preparation, managing money, shopping for essential items, performing essential household chores, communicating by telephone
- and other media, and getting around and participating in the community.
- Health Related Functions such as range of motion exercises, seizure intervention, or ventilator suctioning.
- Redirection and Intervention for Behavior including observation and monitoring.
What are My Options Under the PCA Program?
- The Traditional PCA Option: (PCPO) The clients who receive PCA Services obtain PCA staff through a PCA Agency. The agency hires, trains, pays, and schedules the hours of PCA workers.
- The PCA Choice Option: The clients are able to independently hire and train the PCA workers who provide their care. The clients have a greater level of responsibility in managing their care. The PCA Agency handles employment and management-related functions. The agency is the employer of record for the PCAs.
- The Shared Care Option: The Shared Care Option allows one PCA worker to help two or three individuals living in the same setting
- The Flexible Use Option: Under the Flexible Use Option, individuals can use their approved PCA hours flexibly within a service authorization period to accommodate their varying needs and schedules.
Who is Eligible for PCA Services?
To be eligible to receive PCA Services, you must:
- Be eligible to receive Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare.
- Live in Minnesota
- be able to make decisions about your own care or have someone who can make decisions for you
- Meet with a Public Health Nurse (PHN) from your county to have a PCA Assessment
- Need “constant supervision” or “hands on assistance” to complete at least 1 ADL or have Level 1 Behavior
What Happens at the PCA Assessment?
A Public Health Nurse (PHN) will ask you questions and observe you to determine your need for PCA Services. As mentioned above, in order to qualify for services you need to be “dependent” in at least one Activity of Daily Living (ADL) or have Level 1 behavior. If you need assistance with several ADLs, you will get more help than if you need assistance with one or two ADLs. If you need assistance with critical ADLs (eating, transfers, mobility and toileting), you will get more help than if you need assistance with Non-Critical ADLs (grooming, dressing, bathing, positioning).
Can I Choose My Caregiver?
In Minnesota you have the option of choosing your own caregivers, including your friends and family members, so you can be sure your care is being provided by someone you already know and trust. According to the National Center on Caregiving most care in the U.S. is provided by friends or relatives. If you would like to hire a friend or family member to be your Personal Care Assistant (PCA), we are ready to support you and help you through the process.
How do I get started?
Getting PCA Services started is easy!
- Contact Home Healthcare Agency so we can determine your program eligibility
- We will then provide you the phone number to request a PCA assessment.
- We train and hire the caregiver of your choice
- At the assessment, a nurse will determine how many hours of service you are eligible to receive
- Services begin with the PCA of your choice
- Competitive pay
- PTO for all employees (per hours worked)
- Overtime pay
- Direct deposit
- Online pay-stubs
- Convenient time sheet submissions: Fax, Email, Electronic PDF, and email timesheets reminders
- Free preventative healthcare plan (for full time employees)
Want to Transfer to Home Healthcare Agency?
Every day, people who are dissatisfied with their current PCA Agency contact us about transferring to Home Healthcare Agency. If you would like to transfer to Home Healthcare Agency, we’d love to talk with you. It takes about 30 days to process a transfer requests in according to Minnesota Department of Human Services’ time frame.