Considering adding in-home assistance or care through the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program or CDPAP? One seemingly small decision can make a BIG difference in your experience with this program: choosing a fiscal intermediary.
Let’s back up for a moment and talk about a few basic tenets of CDPAP.
CDPAP is a program provided by Medicaid in New York State designed for those who would benefit from in-home care but do not need or prefer not to hire a professional nurse or home health aide. Consumers who qualify for the program are able to choose their own caregiver(s) from friends, neighbors, loved ones (with some exclusions), and even prior caregivers. Consumers are also encouraged, or in some cases, required to appoint a Designated Representative, similar to a power of attorney. The designated representative cannot be the consumer’s caregiver for obvious reasons.
Because CDPAP is a Medicaid program, paperwork is required. And lots of it. It’s designed to offer a lot of flexibility in terms of how and when care is provided, but there’s also a burden on the consumer to do a fair amount of paperwork and keep specific records.
Luckily, the program also requires that consumers partner with a Fiscal Intermediary, which is “an entity that has a contract with a social services district to provide wage and benefits processing for consumer-directed personal assistants and other fiscal intermediary responsibilities.” What that means, in plain English, is that a fiscal intermediary is able to help consumers by utilizing their learned knowledge of the program to process paperwork (correctly and efficiently) and also act as the payment processor for caregivers.
While working with a fiscal intermediary may just sound like a visit to the DMV, it’s so much more. That’s why we recommend making a careful, informed choice before choosing a fiscal intermediary. Fiscal intermediaries can make the process much simpler because they are intimately familiar with the processes involved with CDPAP specifically, and Medicaid as a whole.
A great fiscal intermediary will have a professional, courteous staff that’s familiar with the day-to-day challenges faced by both consumers and caregivers. That kind of background allows them to offer additional, often intangible and invaluable support to consumers. Good fiscal intermediaries care about both the consumer requiring care and the caregiver providing it.
At Special Touch Home Care, we’ve been providing top-notch, professional in-home care to Westchester County and the five boroughs of New York City for over four decades. We have a unique understanding of the needs of both caregivers and consumers. Our professional staff is ready to answer questions, help fill out paperwork, and go the extra mile to support all of our clients: those receiving professional in-home care and those partnering with us for the CDPAP Program.
For those looking for a fiscal intermediary outside of the Greater NYC area, we recommend looking for agencies with experience in professional home care, and not just in the CDPAP program. Reading consumer reviews is a great way to get a sense of how you can expect to be treated. Situations in which home care is needed are frequently stressful to begin with, so, when you choose a fiscal intermediary we hope you’ll find someone who makes things easier and not more stressful!
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