Frequently Asked Questions

The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) is an innovative program that offers recipients an alternative way to receive home care. CDPAP is a statewide (New York) Medicaid program for eligible recipients, designed to give the “consumer” more control over the care they receive and how it is provided to them.

The list below shows the various plan types that consumers can enroll in, if they’re interested in participating in the CDPAP program:

Managed Medicaid Care Plan (MMC)
Managed Long Term Care Plan (MLTC)
Medicaid Advantage Plus Plan (MAP)
Program for all inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
Fully Integrated Dual Advantage Plan (FIDA)

The list of plans frequently changes, so if you’d like to find out which plans currently service of your area, contact a Special Touch Care Representative at 718-673-9288.

In order to qualify for CDPAP, you must be “self-directing.” This means, you need to be capable of making safe choices about your activities of daily living (ADLs), as well as understand the effects your choices will have—and assume responsibility for their outcomes.

If you aren’t self-directing, you can designate somebody who is able and willing to be your “self-directing other” (SDO) or designated representative. The designated representative is responsible for managing your in-home care. They are also responsible for locating your personal assistant(s), interviewing them, hiring them, training them, supervising them, and if necessary, terminating them.

Recent Developments:

As of April 1, 2016, caregivers of Medicaid recipients that are not “legally responsible” for a Medicaid consumer’s care and support may qualify for payment by becoming a Personal Assistant through the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP).

This direction concerns the parent of an adult child (21 years of age or older) that may qualify as an adult child’s CDPAP assistant if the following conditions apply:

As long as the caregiver is not also the Medicaid recipient’s “designated representative.”
In situations where the parent lives with the child/consumer, the relative must live with the consumer because the amount of home care services the Medicaid recipient requires makes the presence of the relative necessary.

CDPAP personal assistants can perform the same care that a home health aide/home attendant can perform. They are also able to provide certain “skilled” care activities that would otherwise need to be performed by a nurse. These tasks include:

Tracheostomy care, including suctioning
Oxygen administration
Medication administration
Insulin injections

A consumer in the CDPAP program has the freedom to select and train their personal caregiver—this person can be a friend, neighbor, or even a family member. The caregivers are considered as independent consultants and receive payment via a fiscal intermediary.

A fiscal intermediary is an entity contracted to provide services under the county guidelines or managed care plan—Special Touch CDPAP is a fiscal intermediary. For logistical and record keeping purposes payment is most frequently processed and distributed by the fiscal intermediary.

To find out if you qualify as a consumer, you can contact Special Touch CDPAP to speak with a care representative who will be able to help determine whether or not you qualify. If you do, the care representative will be able to walk you through the application process.

One of the requirements for CDPAP is that you have Medicaid. If you do not currently have Medicaid, it may be worth checking if you qualify. The regulations for Medicaid enrollment change frequently—and you may qualify without even knowing it. One of our care representatives can also assist you in this.

Medicaid Managed Care Plans throughout New York require that the Consumer (or their Designated Representative) who will direct their care completes a CDPAP application. This application demonstrates the consumer’s (or their designated representative’s) ability to arrange and manage in-home care.

Check out our in-depth blog on this topic here.

Home care is exactly what it sounds like—being cared for at home. Nowadays, more and more people who are aging, dealing with physical disabilities, or recovering from accidents, want to do so in the comfort of their own home.

Recent studies have shown that people recover faster at home than in institutions. For example, when chemotherapy is required for treatment of cancer, the smaller doses that can be administered at home cause fewer adverse reactions than the massive doses delivered in a hospital setting.

If you need assistance that cannot easily or effectively be provided by a family member or friend, home care is the solution. Home care services benefit people who:

Require additional assistance to live independently at home due to an illness, disability, or advanced age.
Have a chronic or life-threatening illness and want to rest in the comfort of their home environment.
Are able to be discharged from a hospital or nursing home but need additional care at home.
Require short-term assistance at home because of same-day or outpatient surgery, or maternity-related incapacity.

Home care and hospice services are provided for people of all ages. A large number of older people today are choosing to live independent lives rather than moving into nursing homes—both for cost reasons as well as the enjoyment of remaining in their own communities. Home care and hospice services are perfect for this generation.

Younger adults who are disabled or recovering from acute illness are also choosing to be cared for at home. Infants and children requiring even the most sophisticated treatments for serious childhood illnesses are often allowed to return to their loving families, and a secure home environment, thanks to advanced technology and pediatric home care services.

There are several differences between the two. Firstly, in the CDPAP program the consumer or patient is allowed to choose and manage their own caregiver(s), which is typically someone they have a prior relationship with such as a friend or family member. Secondly, the CDPAP caregiver does not require certification. Thirdly, they can perform assistance with ADL’s (activities of daily living) similar to a HHA but in addition they can perform certain tasks typically only performed by a registered nurse. Unlike the CDPAP service, home health aide services are scheduled and managed by the home care agency (Special Touch) and they follow a Plan of Care written by a registered nurse. The agency (rather than the consumer) is responsible for all matters related to the home health aide service.

Special Touch provides two main services: the traditional home health aide service and overseeing the CDPAP program. Home health aides are under the guidance of nurse supervisors. These services include companionship, nutrition, personal care, and other medical tasks. The services are customized into a personal plan to match each patient’s specific needs. Lastly, these services are provided/rendered in the comfort of a patient’s home rather than an unfamiliar healthcare facility.

Special Touch is licensed by the New York State Department of Health and accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). We follow the highest standards in providing care to our patients.

We are very careful in our selection of our home health aides; all aides receive thorough background checks and careful screening before they ever see a Special Touch patient. They are supervised by a nurse as well as our office team to ensure that patients receive optimal care. In addition, we continuously train and educate our field staff to keep their skills current and impactful.

Special Touch employs a very diverse population of home health aides. A partial list of languages we presently serve includes English, Spanish, Russian, Haitian Creole, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), and several others. Please contact our office with any questions you may have as we are always increasing our ability to recruit and employ staff from various backgrounds. Our goal is to be the best option for as many New Yorker’s as possible.

All Special Touch home health aides must be interviewed in our in of our offices and demonstrate the characteristics of a compassionate caregiver. They undergo a thorough background check, which includes criminal screening. They also provide both personal and work references which we meticulously verify.

Each employee’s medical profile must be complete and up-to-date, as well as their employment authorizations. When the paperwork is complete, they undergo a skills assessment, testing, and further education in providing quality patient care. Only when all of this has been completed is an employee considered ready to see a Special Touch patient.

The process for receiving services is quick and simple: you can either call our office directly or complete our patient intake form, at which point one of our knowledgeable care representatives will contact you directly. A registered nurse will then work with you to develop a customized plan of care and a Special Touch home health aide will be assigned to follow that plan accordingly.

If the patient is eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, we can assist in determining what their benefit coverage is and what is needed for reimbursement. In addition to accepting all major credit cards, we accept payments from private insurance companies, or from the patient/guardian directly.

Our office is open from 8am to 7pm, Monday through Friday, and from 8am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. We also have on-call staff available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.