How a Consumer Directed Personal Assistant Program (CDPAP) Works

A Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program is a form of consumer-driven healthcare. Consumer-driven means that the patient is allowed total or at least substantial choice when it comes to what care is received, who provides that care and so forth. CDHC can be an aspect of both private and public insurance, and it provides consumers with the same freedoms they would have if paying out of pocket.

Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Programs

A Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, such as the CDPAP provided in New York, is an aspect of Medicaid configured to assist a particular type of patient. These patients are physically disabled or chronically ill and need assistance with the activities of daily living or ADLs as well as medical attention. Care is generally provided in the home, and caregivers can include nurses, nursing assistants, personal care aides, home health aides and so on.

CDPAP Eligibility

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program, which means that although eligibility will be similar across all states, it will also vary on a state-by-state basis. Consumers must be eligible for Medicaid. With that requirement met, a consumer must have a stable medical condition, require skilled care and/or assistance with ADLs and be self-directing or have a designated representative who can direct care.

Financial Independence

Financial independence is the foundation for any CDPAP. Clinical outlooks improve dramatically when consumers have control over which care they receive and who provides it. From a taxpayer perspective, the conceit is that a CDPAP is more cost-effective than a traditional program because there’s less waste. People make the best choices they can with their self-interest in mind.

Self-Direct Caretakers

Consumers in a CDPAP are responsible for choosing, hiring, scheduling and even dismissing their own caregivers. Since it’s a matter of consumer choice, requirements are laxer. A caregiver assigned by the state may need particular certifications, but a family member chosen by a consumer as his or her caregiver doesn’t need those certifications or any training at all. With this control comes additional responsibilities. When a caregiver takes vacation, for instance, the consumer is responsible for securing a replacement during that period.

Individualized Care Choices

The freedom that a CDPAP provides isn’t limited to just caregivers. Covered individuals are provided resources based on an array of factors and are free to use those resources within the framework of the program. Consumers can opt in and out of care as needed based on their needs and preferences, and those choices can be made under the guidance of a primary care physician but don’t necessarily have to be. Patients not only get to choose what care they receive and who provides it but when and where that care is performed.