Fall 2018 Newsletter | The Evolution of Participant Directed Services

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The Mains’l PDS Team (from left): Haley Tschida, Aly Nelson, Stephanie Swift, Katie Wolf, Jason Bergquist

By Jason Bergquist, Mains'l Director of PDS

Over the last several years, we have seen a shift in the way support services are being offered to people throughout the country. We know that people flourish when their lives are filled with meaningful relationships and activities of their own choosing. In keeping with this philosophy, most states offer self- or participant-directed programs that support people to direct their own services.

Participant Directed Services — PDS for short — are home and community-based services for people of all ages to maintain their independence and determine for themselves what mix of goods and personal assistance supports that work best for them.

The State of Minnesota is making changes to its PDS programs, and Mains’l is excited to continue to be one their partners. Following a national trend, people using PDS will choose a Financial Management Services provider (FMS), who assist them with hiring employees, processing payroll, and paying invoices for goods and services. The participant (or their representative, usually a family member) decides which services they need. Participants and their families create a plan to use their annual budget amount, hire the employees they want to work with them, and purchase what they need to support them to live in their own home and community.

In California people using services such as respite, nursing, day care and transportation, may choose a participant directed option by using an FMS. California will soon be starting a new program called Self Determination, where participants can receive a budget and decide which services they would like to spend their funds on.

In any of these programs, an FMS provider like Mains’l assists participants in hiring employees, processing payroll and paying invoices for services. When using a participant directed program, the participant decides how to spend their budget allowance based on their needs within program guidelines. In some states, participants can hire people they know, such as family, friends and neighbors. The participant then trains and manages their workers.

Mains’l has been an FMS provider for over 15 years, and remains committed to providing the best customer service to the participants, their representative and family members and their employees.

We look forward to serving our existing customers as the services and guidelines evolve, as well as supporting those who are new to these programs. If you are interested in learning more, contact us today.