Agency With Choice is a model of home care services developed by the Office of Development Programs to encourage participant/consumer-directed care. Specifically, this model encourages consumers and their advocates to be directly involved in the planning, scheduling, hiring, and maintenance of their support workers.

In the Agency With Choice model, CareGivers America is considered a joint employer with the consumer or their designated advocate (also known as a surrogate). CareGivers America’s primary functions are to perform payroll and billing tasks while assisting the consumer or the consumer’s advocate in the every day management of their home care services. Our goal is to empower the consumer and their advocate, giving them more choice and control over their home care services.

Currently, CareGivers America is the Agency With Choice provider for Lackawanna, Luzerne, Susquehanna, and Wyoming counties. To be eligible for this program you must receive services through the Consolidated Waiver, the P/FDS Waiver, or through Base Funding.

Responsibilities of the Consumer/Consumer Surrogate

Note: This is not a complete list of all consumer responsibilities.

Determining what services are to be provided (with their supports coordinator)

  • Determining how services are to be provided.
  • Performing the recruiting, selecting, hiring, orientating, and training of support service workers.
  • Negotiating pay rates of support service workers.
  • Performing the scheduling and managing of the desired home care services.
  • Disciplining support service workers, when needed, up to and including termination.
  • Preparing an emergency back-up schedule for support service workers.
  • Reviewing and approving timesheets.
  • Managing the ISP budget with the assistance of monthly utilization reports from CareGivers America.
  • Notifying the supports coordinator of the need for changes to the ISP.
  • Notifying the Agency With Choice office of disciplinary actions and/or dismissals.
  • Notifying the Agency With Choice office of reportable events/incidents.
  • Completing and submitting Monthly Progress Notes.

Responsibilities of CareGivers America

Note: This is not a complete list of all provider responsibilities.

Assisting consumers and their advocates in the recruiting, selecting, hiring, orientating, and training of support service workers.

  • Assisting consumers and their advocates in the scheduling and managing of their home care services.
  • Assisting consumers and their advocates in disciplining or terminating support service workers.
  • Ensuring that support service workers and consumers/surrogates meet the qualification criteria for Waiver Services.
  • Completing all payroll and accounts payable responsibilities.
  • Completing all IRS paperwork.
  • Collecting and maintaining all personnel and consumer files of record.
  • Tracking utilization of the Agency With Choice portion of the ISP and providing monthly statements to the consumers.
  • Billing and collecting payments for services.
  • Reporting Incidents to the appropriate parties.
  • Assuring compliance with all applicable state, federal, and waiver requirements.

Qualifications for Consumers

To participate in the Agency With Choice program, consumers must:

Live in their own private residence or the residence of a family member/friend/.

  • Have an Individual Support Plan that authorizes participant/consumer-directed services, as developed with an assigned Supports Coordinator.
  • Have authorization from the Administrative Entity or County Program.
  • Assign themselves or a designated surrogate as a Managing Employer.
    • Managing Employers must:
      • Be 18 years of age or older.
      • Have satisfactory criminal history records.
      • Participate in the training sponsored by the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP).
      • Agree to the responsibilities of the position, as listed in the Managing Employer Agreement.
      • Agree to work with the Supports Coordinator to develop and revise the Individual Support Plan (ISP).
      • Have the time to dedicate to the responsibilities associated with the title, Managing Employer.

For more information on this program, please call your local CareGivers America office or visit the following website:

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