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What Is Consumer Directed Services? (CDS)

The Medicaid program offered by the state of Missouri, which is called “MO HealthNet,” focuses on providing personal care for consumers. CDS (Consumer Directed Services) – which also provides personal care – allows eligible applicants to employ, train, and track individuals they decide to offer personal care to. Family members that register with the MMACU (Missouri Medicaid Audit and Compliance Unit – a division of the Department of Social Services) are able to offer care once hired. Legal guardians and spouses are an exemption, though.

Kansas City In Home Health Care Elderly

The purpose of Consumer Directed Services program is to nullify any need for someone to be placed in a nursing home. It offers at-home care for anyone who is physically disabled (if they need institutionalization).

Although this program isn’t limited to senior citizens, it does help elderly people who cannot perform daily routine activities because of illnesses (ie. kidney failure or cancer). Individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s (and similar forms of dementia) do not qualify for this state program, unfortunately. Assistance comes by way of the IADL (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living) and the ADL (Activities of Daily Living). Assistance is provided for activities like:

  • Light housekeeping.
  • Grocery shopping.
  • Cooking.
  • Mobility.
  • Toiletries.
  • Eating.

One of the DHSS’ departments, the Division of Senior and Disability Services, administers this statewide care program.

Qualification Guidelines

To qualify for this personal care program, applicants need to be at least 18 years old and be a resident of Missouri. They also must be able to dictate their own personal care (and be willing to). These individuals need to be considered physically disabled – i.e., they don’t have the ability to perform routine activities each day (like preparing meals, bathing, and dressing). They need the type of care nursing homes provide. Further, they need to be MO HealthNet-enrolled.

Qualifying for MO HealthNet is contingent on income, age, and perhaps even a candidate’s countable assets. Income limits for widows or single seniors between the period of April 2019 and March 2020 happens to be a monthly amount of $885. Couples who are married have a monthly income cap of $1198 (such figures equate to 85% – give or take – of the overall Federal Poverty Level). Also, an asset limit of $4000 exists for each senior enrolling in MO HealthNet. Couples who are married are permitted as much as $8000 worth of assets. A number of assets are non-countable (in other words, they will be exempt). They include an automobile, personal goods, household items, and a home (assuming either an applicant or spouse resides in that home, and its equity value isn’t any higher than the amount of $595,000).

Anyone with income that exceeds that limit might still be eligible by way of a spend-down (which functions a lot like deductible programs do). Participants spend excess income they have on care requirements and medical bills. After reaching the income limit for Medicaid, they’re able to obtain care services for the remainder of that month.

Anyone with uncertainties about their qualification status should consult one of Medicaid’s planning professionals.

Delux In Home Health
Consumer Directed Services allows for loved ones to get paid for daily personal assistance.

Services and Benefits

This program offers personal-care help that is consumer-directed and non-medical by nature within an eligible applicant’s home. Assistance with various IADLs and ADLs is an important aspect of this program, and might include help for the following needs:

  • Essential item shopping.
  • Preparing meals.
  • Laundry.
  • Moderate housecleaning.
  • Management of medication.
  • Mobility.
  • Toiletry.
  • Grooming.
  • Bathing.

Essential transportation – perhaps for grocery shopping or medical appointments – also happens to be a benefit of the program.

As mentioned earlier, friends or family members can be employed as a personal caregiver, but legal guardians and spouses can’t. Caregivers at Delux Home Health Care are compensated up to $11 per hour under the Consumer Directed Services program.

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