The Transition from PCA to Community First Services and Supports (CFSS)

What is Community First Services and Supports (CFSS)?

Have you heard about the transition from PCA to Community First Services and Supports (CFSS)? Well, if you haven't, you soon will. In an effort to expand your choices and the way you receive care, the Department of Human Services is set to transition the Personal Care Assistant (PCA) program to CFSS in 2023. The transition from PCA to CFSS will occur gradually over the course of the year. Despite this being a big change, it is being done in order to make sure you receive the care you need, when and how you need it. In any event, just like the PCA program, CFSS provides help to people so they can remain at home and maintain their independence in the community.

What's the difference between CFSS and the PCA program?

First, Community First Services and Supports is designed to accomplish many of the same goals as the PCA program, and even more. In addition, the eligibility requirements for CFSS will remain the same as they were for PCA.

CFSS covers activities of daily living (ADL), instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), health-related tasks, and observation and redirection of behavior. And while this transition is taking place, we at Minnesota Quality Care will advocate for you to make sure your services are maintained.

To recap, CFSS covers the same activities of daily living as PCA:

  • Light cleaning
  • Cook meals
  • Run errands
  • Do Laundry
  • Assist clients to bathe, shower, and groom
  • Help clients in activities which require them to read, talk, and play games

If so much remains the same between CFSS and the PCA program, then why make any changes? Because CFSS gives you more options and support than PCA and allows you to choose how your services are delivered. 

CFSS allows people more control over their care. Some of the changes include:

  • An approved relative, such as a spouse or the parent of a minor, may now provide support care
  • A worker training and development budget is received from the state to allow either the client or their provider agency to train the support workers who provide care
  • The client will write a service-delivery plan with help from their consultation services provider as desired
  • The client may buy a personal emergency response system (PERS) to provide back-up support
  • Clients may choose to buy goods and services to aid in their independence

There are two different delivery models to receive care under CFSS

In addition to the changes mentioned above, DHS has expanded the ways you may chose to receive CFSS. As a result, a person may choose between an agency provider model vs. a budget model, depending on their individual goals and skill sets.

Agency Provider Model

This delivery model is similar to the delivery model used under the PCA system. Generally speaking, people who prefer employee responsibilities be handled by someone else (recruitment, hiring, supervision, pay, paperwork, etc.) will prefer the agency model. Under this model, the agency acts as the support worker's employer. Even so, under CFSS, people who choose the agency provider model still have input in selecting their own support workers, including qualified family members.

Budget Model

Of course, some people are looking for more control within the CFSS program. In that case, the budget model may be an appropriate choice. By and large, the budget model allows you to act as the manager and employer of your support workers. People who use the budget model recruit, hire, train, and supervise their support workers. They also need to select a financial management services (FMS) provider to help with payroll.

Minnesota Quality Care advocates for you

Without a doubt, the transition to Community First Services and Supports in 2023 will raise questions and concern for people. Accordingly, Minnesota Quality Care receives updates from the Department of Human Services so that we can keep people informed. DHS also has answers to frequently asked questions that you may find helpful. In the meantime, if you have questions that we can help with, please feel free to contact us.