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Recommendations for Minnesota’s Personal Care Assistance Program From Focus Groups of PCA Consumers and PCAs: Interim Report #2

June 2009

Minnesota Department of Human Services

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), Disability Services Division contracted with The Lewin Group  to conduct a study of the infrastructure of the State’s Medicaid State Plan Personal Care Assistance (PCA) program. This study analyzes the drivers of Medical Assistance expenditures in the State’s PCA program and provides recommendations to inform legislation to strengthen the PCA program.

This report is the second of several interim reports that Lewin submitted to DHS, in addition to a comprehensive final report. This second report includes findings from a series of 14 focus groups, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Institute on Community Integration, with recipients of PCA services and PCA workers in a variety of Minnesota Medical Assistance programs offering PCA services. The purpose of conducting these focus groups was to hear from workers about their experiences providing PCA services, and from service recipients about their experiences receiving PCA services. This report provides: a description of the methodology used to obtain this data (through the focus groups); findings from several topical areas such as services delivered/received, quality of services, wages/benefits, education/training, and family members as PCA workers; a summary of focus group participants’ recommended key changes to improve the Minnesota PCA program; and interim recommendations to improve and strengthen Minnesota’s PCA program.
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"Throughout the engagement, Lewin consultants listened to us and delivered superb analyses and thoughtful guidance–not canned solutions."  NONPROFIT HEALTH SYSTEM