PCA extension ends November 12

Effective Nov. 12, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will end the exception that has allowed the Minnesota […]

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Effective Nov. 12, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will end the exception that has allowed the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) to pay personal care assistance (PCA) provider agencies for services provided by spouses and parents (including stepparents and legal guardians) of minors. 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, PCA provider agencies could not bill DHS or a person’s managed care organization for services provided by these specific family members. Parents, stepparents and legal guardians of minors, as well as spouses may continue to serve as a PCA worker for their family member until Saturday, November 11. 

In May CMS let DHS know of a policy change that allowed the state to apply for a six-month extension of this temporary allowance created during the COVID-19 federal public health emergency. That time period has come to an end. 

As part of the response to the COVID-19 federal public health emergency, DHS could temporarily allow specific family members to serve as PCA workers through the end of the emergency period. People receiving PCA services, families, lead agencies, providers and other advocates have been asking questions about the impact to people and families taking advantage of this exemption when the federal public health emergency period ended. 

DHS tried to work with CMS for more than a year to develop workable plans to extend the exemption within federal legal constraints. 

(Source: Minnesota DHS)

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