Medicaid rule would offer more choice to beneficiaries

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed a rule that would allow more Medicaid beneficiaries to choose their personal care workers instead of relying on the agency to coordinate the services.

Under the rule, which was on display Monday in the Federal Register, beneficiaries who need assistance with activities of daily living could hire, direct, train or fire their own personal care workers. Those workers could include qualified family members who may already be familiar with the individual's needs, according to CMS in a statement.

If a state adopts this state plan option, beneficiaries could receive a cash allowance to hire their own workers. Before implementing this option, the state must have an existing personal care services benefit, or be operating a home or community-based services waiver program.

Comments are due on the rule by February 19, 2008. To view the proposed rule visit: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/MedicaidGenInfo/Downloads/CMS2229P.PDF. 

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