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Client FAQ

Find information for clients about payroll, eligibility, and other needs for caregivers in home healthcare in MN.

What can PCAs do for children under age 18?

There are some differences between what PCAs can do for adults and children. Details are available at PCA services for children under age 18.

Who cannot be a responsible party?

The following individuals cannot be responsible party:

  • PCA provider agency owners or managers
  • A person’s county worker if they are acting as an employee
  • A person’s PCA
  • PCA provider agency staff unless related to the client by by blood, marriage or adoption
  • The qualified professional.

What happens at the end of the authorization period?

Before the authorization ends we will send a referral to the county or health plan to visit you for an annual reassessment. At the annual reassessment the nurse will again determine the number of hours you need. Your hours may go up or down at this time so it is important to answer questions accurately and make sure you understand every question. If you have any questions about the assessment process you can read our blog on the Minnesota assessment. This appointment is very important, and if you don’t have your assessment before the end of your current service agreement there might be a gap in services.

Can I use my PCA at work?

PCAs may assist you at work. They may provide any assistance you need in your care plan. You have the following choices for getting personal care assistance at work:

  • You may schedule a PCA to come into your workplace at the times you need help.
  • You may find someone employed at your workplace who is willing to work as a PCA for you.

Please check with your employer before hiring a co-worker to be a PCA in the workplace. Sometimes you may need help with things specific to your job, such as typing or filing. Talk with your employer about the options you have for getting this help. Perhaps someone else at the workplace can help arrange assistance or assist with tasks. These are often considered reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Are there any tools to help me budget my PCA units?

What do I do if my eligibility or address changes?

If your eligibility or address changes, contact our office immediately. When these types of changes occur, we need to send documentation to the county, health plan or state to ensure continuation of services. The documents need to be sent within strict time frames so if you have a change in your eligibility or address let us know right away.

How do I request a renewal when my service agreement is going to end?

You don’t have to do anything. That is because Best Care sends a request on your behalf 60 days before your service agreement ends to renew your PCA services.

Can I hire an employee who is under 18 years old?

Yes, individuals who are 16 and 17 years old can be employees. As part of their application procedure, they will submit additional paperwork affirming their age. Supervision of PCA employees under 18 by a Qualified Professional must occur every 60 days until they turn 18.

How do I hire an employee?

Please contact our intake department to fill out an employee application over the phone and schedule a time to come in to sign the application, start your background study and fingerprints. We will need a cleared background study with the Department of Human Services before the employee can start work. As this can take several days to several weeks, please have the employee contact or make an appointment to come into the office as soon as possible. That way, we can start the process. As always, if you have any questions, please call our Intake Department at 763-710-2031.

What are Qualified Professional visits?

All recipients are required to have Qualified Professional visits from time to time. Under the law we are required to make these visits within certain timeframes. Be sure to call the QP back and schedule a visit to avoid any interruptions in service.

Can I receive PCA services while I am outside of Minnesota?

Yes, you can receive PCA services while outside of Minnesota but you may not receive services outside of the United States. You can find more information about PCA services outside of Minnesota by clicking here. Contact us if you plan on traveling and want to receive PCA services while you are out of the state.

How do I complete the PCA care plan?

PCA Choice Clients are responsible for completing the PCA Care Plan. Under the Traditional PCA model this is the agency’s responsibility. The care plan should be based upon the authorized activities in the PCA assessment and describe how the PCA is going to meet those needs. It is our policy to complete a care plan for all clients under the Traditional or Choice programs.

What activities should my caregiver complete on the timesheet?

Your caregiver may only check off the activities you are approved to receive care for according to the PCA assessment and PCA Care Plan. Refer to your assessment, care plan, or start services letter if you have questions. For more information contact our office.

Can I sign blank timesheets?

Never sign blank timesheets, and if a caregiver asks you to do so contact our office and let us know. If you sign blank timesheets you won’t know what hours a caregiver will submit and you are responsible for time submitted to the state for payment. Signing blank timesheets may also be a crime, and make you suspect in later fraud investigations.

Who needs a responsible Party?

A person needs a responsible party if:

  • They are under 18
  • They are an incapacitated adult with a court-appointed guardian
  • The PCA assessment indicates you need help making decisions about your care.

How do I change my PCA?

You can change your PCA at any time. Contact us so we may get the information for the new PCA and get them set up to work with you.

Can I use more than one agency?

If you use the Traditional PCA program you can have more than one agency provide your staffing. If you use the PCA Choice, you can have only one agency. You cannot use both traditional PCA and PCA Choice at the same time.

Do I need to review the PCA timesheet?

Yes, review the PCA timesheet to make sure the hours marked are the ones the caregiver worked. If you have multiple workers, also make sure their times are not overlapping. When you sign the timesheet you are stating that the times and activities are true and correct. To do that make sure you are taking the time to review times entries carefully.

My PCA hours were cut, what can I do?

If your PCA hours were reduced, you have the right to make an appeal. You may use the Appeal to State Agency form here, and if you need help completing the form please contact us.

Do I have to use my PCA hours every day?

No, you will be assessed for a daily amount of PCA hours, but you can use them flexibly as necessary. For example, you may choose to get help just two or three days per week; or if you are a parent, you may choose to use a greater number of hours during the summer but less during the school year.

Who can I call for help if someone is abusing me?

If you are in immediate danger, call 911 or one of these others:

  • Your county’s common entry point, staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Your case manager
  • Family member or friend
  • Your qualified professional
  • Your PCA provider agency
  • Long-Term Care Ombudsman at 800-657-3591 or 800-627-3529 (TTY)
  • Ombudsman for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities at 800-657-3506

If I don’t use my PCA time does it roll over?

No. Unused PCA time does not carry over into the next six-month period. You must use all your hours or lose them.

What is the PCA Choice option?

The PCA Choice option gives people more control over their care than Traditional PCA model. People on the PCA Choice model receive less frequent qualified professional or nurse visits, as they are the ones primarily responsible for their care.

Under PCA Choice, you are responsible for:

  • Finding, hiring, training, supervising and scheduling your staff
  • Finding back up PCA staff
  • Maintain a written agreement with your PCA Choice provider agency
  • Develop your care plan, with help from our qualified professional if needed
  • Working with your to make sure your health and safety needs are met
  • Signing time sheets

Can there be a change in Responsible Parties?

There can be a change in the Responsible Party, at the time of Reassessment or anytime during the year. To make a Responsible Party change, the current Responsible Party should contact our office to let us know about the change. Then, the new Responsible Party should complete a PCA Responsible Party Agreement and Plan DHS-5856 (PDF) and return the form to Best Care, and we will send the new Responsible Party Agreement to DHS.

How many hours do I have left?

Throughout the year you may wonder how many hours you have left? If you use the number of hours daily or weekly you are authorized to receive you will probably never need to worry about how many hours you have left. However, if you are flexing hours and using more hours than authorized you may need to keep an eye on your hours or you may run out. You can view the number of hours you have left in our timekeeping app (coming soon). For additional questions about the number of hours you have left contact our office at 651.330.2550.

What is flexible use?

Flexible use means you can use your PCA service units in a flexible manner over two six–month periods. Many recipients divide their time 50/50 between the two six-month periods, however you can divide your time flexibly as long as you do not use more than 75% of your time during one six-month period. Your unit’s are supposed to last the entire service period however, so it is advised flexing is limited to hours per week. For example if you are assessed for 21 hours a week you don’t have to use 3 hours a day. You could have service for 7 hours on 3 days instead.

Can my PCA work with me while I am in the PCA’s home?

Yes! You may receive services anywhere in the community, which includes the PCAs home.

When can my PCA start working?

Start dates depend on a number of factors and each case is different. Your caregiver will receive a start work letter with the date they are authorized to start to work. Refer to this letter to determine when you caregiver may start work.

How many hours am I approved to receive?

The number of hours you are approved to receive is determined at your PCA assessment, and we receive an authorization for those hours. Refer to your start services letter for the number of hours authorized. It is advisable to limit your hours to the number of hours authorized per week. If you use more hours “over flexing” than you are approved for per week, your hours will not last the full authorization period. For additional hours related questions contact our office at 651.330.2550.

What is a Responsible Party required to do?

The responsible party must:

  • Attend your assessments
  • Be available while the PCA is working
  • Be listed on forms
  • Check on your health and safety
  • Help you develop your care plan
  • Help you make informed choices
  • Monitor your care plan
  • Participate in planning and directing your services
  • Sign a PCA Responsible Party Agreement and Plan DHS-5856 (PDF) with the PCA provider agency
  • Sign time sheets.

Can anyone use their PCA units flexibly?

Generally anyone can use their PCA hours flexibly, however, you are not eligible for flexible use if: Your local county agency or tribe denies flexible; DHS denies flexible use; or you are on the Minnesota Restricted Recipient Program.

How long are services authorized for?

Services are typically authorized for one year in two, six month dates spans and the hours are divided equally between each six month period.

What is a PCA unable to do for me?

PCAs cannot:

  • Assist with sterile procedures
  • Inject fluids and medications into veins, muscles or skin
  • Complete home maintenance or chore services
  • Complete homemaker services that are not an integral part of assessed needs
  • Apply restraints
  • Assist with most instrumental activities of daily living for children under 18
  • Provide services in lieu of other staffing options in a residential or childcare setting
  • Cannot work solely as a childcare or babysitting service
  • Provide services in the PCA’s home
  • Sleep on the job

Can a PCA help with my medications?

Under the direction of you or your responsible party, your PCA can:

  • Remind you to take your medications
  • Bring you your medication
  • Assist with opening medication

PCAs cannot:

  • Decide your need for medication
  • Set up your medication
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your medication
  • Inject medications

What is the Traditional PCA option?

Under the Traditional PCA option, individuals receive more support from the provider agency. People on the Traditional PCA model also receive more frequent qualified professional or nurse visits so the agency can be sure services are meeting care plan goals.

Under Traditional PCA, the agency is responsible for:

  • Hiring, training, supervising and scheduling
  • Monitoring and evaluating PCA staff to ensure care plan goals are being met
  • Developing a care plan to meet the goals identified in the nurse assessment
  • Maintain back-up staffing in case of an emergency

Note: Under the Choice or Traditional Program you may hire a caregiver of your choosing.

How do I terminate an employee?

Submit a signed statement that the employee is no longer working, and the last day they worked/will work. This can be emailed, mailed, faxed, or dropped off to our office.

What can I do to help my PCA?

  • Do not ask your PCA to complete tasks not allowed by state law.
  • Do not ask your PCA to help or take care of others in your home.
  • Keep track of the hours of PCA services you have used.
  • Review and sign accurate time sheets.

What can my PCA do to help me?

A PCA may help you with:

  • Activities of daily living
  • Health related procedures and tasks
  • Observation and redirection of behaviors
  • Instrumental activities of daily living

Who submits the timesheet?

Either the caregiver or the client can submit the timesheet, but the caregiver and client should each sign the time entry themselves. The caregiver cannot sign for the client and the client may not sign for the caregiver.

My PCA is telling me they did not get paid. What should I do?

The most likely reason a PCA does not get paid is because we are missing timesheets or the ones we have contain errors. If your PCA tells you they did not get paid instruct them to contact our office. It is not your responsibility to resolve employee pay issues and we are unable to discuss most payroll related issues with clients due to employment law privacy issues.

Where can a PCA provide Services to me?

Most PCA services are delivered in your home. You can use your PCA services at work, shopping, medical appointments, worship services, school or any place you would normally go in the community.

What will happen at the PCA assessment?

At the assessment, a nurse will ask you a number of questions to determine your needs. Based on your answers to the nurse’s questions, you will be given a home care rating if you are eligible and you will be authorized for a number of hours based on that rating.

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