FAQ for Clients that are in Medical Assistance or Minnesota Care Program

What are PCA services?
PCA services or Personal Care Assistant services, help people with activities that may be difficult due to their special health care needs. Personal Care Assistants may help with day-to-day activities, household tasks, non-medical home health services and intervention for behavior.

Who may receive PCA Services?
To qualify for PCA services you must: Live in Minnesota; Be eligible to receive Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare; 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; and Need “constant supervision” or “hands on assistance” to complete at least 1 ADL or have Level 1 Behavior.

Do I qualify for PCA services?
In order to qualify to receive PCA services and at-home care you need to be on Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare (pregnant women and children under age 21) and have a need for personal care services – meaning you need help with your daily activities such as bathing, grooming, dressing, or participating in the community because of special health care needs including behavioral needs.

What is PCA Choice?
The PCA Choice is an option of the PCA Program and is designed to be consumer directed. Under PCA Choice, you must: find, hire, train, schedule and fire your staff, find back up PCA staff Monitor and evaluate your staff, maintain a written agreement with your PCA Choice provider agency, maintain documentation of PCA tasks and actions,work with your qualified professional to make sure your health and safety needs are met, develop your care plan with help from your qualified professional if needed, sign time sheets.

What can a PCA do to help me?
A PCA may help you with: Activities of daily living; Health related procedures and tasks; Observation and redirection of behaviors; and Instrumental activities of daily living.

Do you work with children?
Yes, we work with people of all ages.

Can I qualify for medical assistance?
The best way to tell if you qualify for medical assistance is to contact your county human services department. There are income and asset guidelines, but even if you have too much income, you may still qualify after paying a copayment.

How many hours of service will I get?
It is difficult to tell how many PCA hours any one person will receive. Typically, people get anywhere from 2 to 6 hours per day, but some people get as much as 10 hours per day or more. It all depends on your needs as determined at the PCA assessment.

Do I have to use my PCA hours every day?
No, you will be assessed for a daily amount of PCA hours, but you can use them flexibly as necessary. For example, you may choose to get help just two or three days per week; or if you are a parent, you may choose to use a greater number of hours during the summer but less during the school year.

What is flexible use?
Flexible use means you can use your PCA service units in a flexible manner over two six–month periods. Many recipients divide their time 50/50 between the two six-month periods, however you can divide your time flexibly as long as you do not use more than 75% of your time during one six-month period.

You are not eligible for flexible use if:
• Your local county agency or tribe denies flexible use
• DHS denies flexible use
• You are on the Minnesota Restricted Recipient Prog

If I don't use my PCA time does it roll over?
No. Unused PCA time does not carry over into the next six-month period.

My PCA hours were cut, what can I do?
If your PCA hours were reduced, you have the right to make an appeal. You may use our appeal to state agency form, and if you need help completing the form please contact us.

My PCA hours were cut, what will happen now?
If your PCA hours are reduced, state law requires them to be continued at the level prior to the reduction for 10 days of the new service authorization. If you appeal, your hours can be maintained at their pre-reduction level until the appeal is complete.

How do I get a PCA assessment?
Contact CareView Home Health so we may determine your program eligibility and gather information. We will then provide you the phone number to request a PCA Assessment.

What will happen at the PCA assessment?
At the assessment, a nurse will ask you a number of questions to determine your needs. Based on your answers to the nurse’s questions, you will be given a home care rating if you are eligible and you will be authorized for a number of hours based on that rating.

Does the responsible party need to be at the PCA assessment?
Yes. The responsible party must be at the PCA assessment.

How long does the county have to complete a PCA assessment?
Agencies have up to 30 days to conduct the assessment from the time it is requested. So, it is important to request an assessment as soon as possible.

Can my PCA come with me to church?
Your PCA can accompany you to church or any other community activity. The goal of PCA services is to help people be independent at home and active in the community.

Can my PCA come with me to doctor’s appointments?
Your PCA can come with you to doctor appointments and can even help you make them if necessary.

Can my PCA work with me while I am in the PCA’s home?
Unfortunately, according to state requirements, PCA services cannot be billed for if they are delivered in the PCA’s home. The one exception to the rule is when the PCA and recipient live together.

What can I do to help my PCA?
Do not ask your PCA to complete tasks not allowed by state law. Do not ask your PCA to help or take care of others in your home. Keep track of the hours of PCA services you have used.  Review and sign accurate time sheets.

How much do services costs?
PCA services are free for most people on medical assistance

Can I receive PCA services while I am outside of Minnesota?
Yes, you can receive PCA services while outside of Minnesota but you may not receive services outside of the United States. Contact us if you plan on travelling and want to receive PCA services while you are out of the state.

How do I change my PCA?
You can change your PCA at any time. Contact us so we may get the information for the new PCA and get them set up to work with you.

How do I transfer to CareView Home Health?
Every day, people who are dissatisfied with their current PCA Agency contact us about transferring to CareView Home Health. You will need to sign a PCA Transfer Form and return it to us. It takes approximately 30 days to process transfer requests in accordance with state time  frames.