What are PCA services?
PCA services, or Personal Care Assistant services, help people with activities that may be difficult due to their special health care needs. Personal Care Assistants may help with day-to-day activities, household tasks, non-medical home health services, and intervention for behavior.
Who may receive PCA Services?
To qualify for PCA services you must:
- Live in Minnesota;
- Be eligible to receive Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare;
- Be able to make decisions about your own care or have someone who can make decisions for you; and Meet with a Public Health Nurse (PHN) from your county to have a PCA Assessment; and
- Need “constant supervision” or “hands on assistance” to complete at least 1 ADL or have Level 1 Behavior.
What can a 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; and
- Instrumental activities of daily living.
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.
How much do services costs?
PCA services are free for most people on medical assistance. Visit our Paying for PCA Services page to learn more.
Do I qualify for PCA services?
In order to qualify to receive PCA services and at-home care you need to be on Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare (pregnant women and children under age 21) and have a need for personal care services – meaning you need help with your daily activities such as bathing, grooming, dressing, or participating in the community because of special health care needs including behavioral needs.
What is PCA Choice?
The PCA Choice is an option of the PCA Program and is designed to be consumer directed. Under PCA Choice, you must:
- Find, hire, train, schedule and fire your staff
- Find back up PCA staff
- Monitor and evaluate your staff
- Maintain a written agreement with your PCA Choice provider agency
- Maintain documentation of PCA tasks and actions
- Work with your qualified professional to make sure your health and safety needs are met
- Develop your care plan, with help from your qualified professional if needed
- Sign time sheets
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.
Can anyone use their PCA units flexibly?
You are not eligible for flexible use if:
• Your local county agency or tribe denies flexible use
• DHS denies flexible use
• You are on the Minnesota Restricted Recipient Program
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.
Do you work with children?
Yes, we work with people of all ages.
Can I qualify for medical assistance?
The best way to tell if you qualify for medical assistance is to contact your county human services department. There are income and asset guidelines, but even if you have too much income, you may still qualify after paying a copayment. Visit our Paying for PCA Services page to learn more.
How many hours of service will I get?
It is difficult to tell how many PCA hours any one person will receive. Typically, people get anywhere from 2 to 6 hours per day, but some people get as much as 10 hours per day or more. It all depends on your needs as determined at the PCA assessment.
How do I get a PCA assessment?
Contact Best Home Care so we may determine your program eligibility and gather information. We will then provide you the phone number to request a PCA Assessment.
Does the responsible party need to be at the PCA assessment?
Yes. The responsible party must be at the PCA assessment.
How long does the county have to complete a PCA assessment?
Agencies have up to 30 days to conduct the assessment from the time it is requested. So, it is important to request an assessment as soon as possible.
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.
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 our appeal to state agency form, and if you need help completing the form please contact us.
My PCA hours were cut, what will happen now?
If your PCA hours are reduced, state law requires them to be continued at the level prior to the reduction for 10 days of the new service authorization. If you appeal, your hours can be maintained at their pre-reduction level until the appeal is complete.
Can my PCA come with me to church?
Your PCA can accompany you to church or any other community activity. The goal of PCA services is to help people be independent at home and active in the community.
Can my PCA come with me to doctor’s appointments?
Your PCA can come with you to doctor appointments and can even help you make them if necessary.
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.
Can my PCA work with me while I am in the PCA’s home?
Unfortunately, according to state requirements, PCA services cannot be billed for if they are delivered in the PCA’s home. The one exception to the rule is when the PCA and recipient live together. See the state website on this issue here.
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 travelling and want to receive PCA services while you are out of the state.
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.
How do I transfer to Best Home Care?
Every day, people who are dissatisfied with their current PCA Agency contact us about transferring to Best Home Care. If you would like to transfer to Best Home Care, please Contact Us. You will need to sign a PCA Transfer Form and return it to us. We take approximately 30 days to process transfer requests in accordance with state time frames.
Who can work as a PCA?
- Be 16 or older;
- Pass a background study;
- Complete individualized PCA training requirements; and
- Be able to provide for recipient needs as provided in the care plan.
A PCA may not be:
- The recipients spouses;
- The parents or stepparents of minors; or
- Paid legal guardians.
What are the training requirements for being a PCA?
Before being enrolled as a PCA worker, you must take and pass standardized PCA training and an exam. There is also an option to test out of the exam if you have previous experience in the field. Then you will receive individualized training in the specific needs of the recipient you are working with from the agency qualified professional, or from the recipient depending upon the program that the recipient has enrolled in. The training requirements may vary depending upon the needs of the recipient you are working with.
How difficult is the PCA examination?
If you take the training modules, the test is relatively simple. The test is a 25 question multiple choice examination and you have to get 20 questions correct to pass. You can take the test as many times as you need (without penalty) in order to pass.
Can I be the PCA for my minor child?
No, the parents and stepparents cannot be the PCA for their minor children or stepchildren. However, you can be the PCA for your adult child.
Can I be the PCA for my spouse?
No, you cannot be the PCA for your spouse.
Can I be the PCA for my parents?
Yes you can! However, if your parents cannot direct their own care they will need a “Responsible Party”. You can still be your parents PCA but you will need someone else to act as “Responsible Party”. You cannot be your parent’s PCA and Responsible Party.
Can I be the PCA for my grandparents?
Yes you can! However if your grandparents cannot direct their own care they will need a “Responsible Party”. You can still be your grandparents PCA but you will need someone else to act as “Responsible Party”. You cannot be your grandparent’s PCA and Responsible Party.
Do you have direct deposit?
Yes, we do offer direct deposit.
What are your pay periods?
We pay every two weeks according to our payroll calender. However, if you have an emergency, you may request an emergency mid pay period or early check. Typically we require 24 hours to process emergency check requests. To make an emergency check request please call our office.
I was disqualified during the background study, what can I do?
If you are disqualified to work as a personal care assistant, you will have an opportunity to appeal the disqualification. If you are unsure about how to do that, we are happy to assist you.
How do I turn in my timesheets?
We accept timesheets by fax, email, and the homecare timesheets app. You can even drop off your timesheet if necessary. It is Best Home Care’s goal to make working and receiving services at our company easy and convenient.
I didn't get my check what should I do?
If you didn’t receive your paycheck the most likely reason is we did not receive your timesheet. Contact us so we can verify we have your timesheets. If your check is lost in the mail we may be able to issue a replacement depending upon how long it has been since the check was issued.
How much do you pay?
Our pay rates vary based upon a number of factors. We consider your experience, and the number of hours the client you are working with receives among other factors when making an offer regarding compensation. We strive to pay the highest wage possible and to be fair.
I have been helping a friend or family member without pay, how do I get paid?
Have your friend or family member give us a call with their name and birth date. If they are eligible we will assist them in requesting a PCA assessment and hire you to be their PCA. Contact us to get started.
When do I get paid if my time sheets are turned in late?
Time sheets are due every Thursday. If you time sheets are turned in late according to our payroll calendar your check will typically be processed with the next payday. If you need to get paid before the next payday, you need to call our office and make an emergency early check request.
Why did I receive a call saying you don't have my time sheets?
Each week we send out an automated call for people who have missing time sheets. Sometimes, even though time sheets are sent they are not received. We regularly received time sheets that are blank, cut off, or missing state required information such as signatures or which have other errors. If you receive a call stating we do not have your time sheet you should call the office to avoid any payroll delays.