Personal Care Assistants provide assistance and support to the elderly, persons with disabilities, and others with special health care needs living independently in the community.

In order for a person to receive PCA services, the services must be:

  • medically necessary;
  • authorized by a licensed physician;
  • documented in a written service plan; and
  • provided at the recipient’s place of residence or other location (not a hospital or health care facility).

In addition, recipients of PCA services must be in stable medical condition, be able to direct their own care or have a responsible party who provides support, and have a need for assistance in at least one activity of daily living or a Level I behavior.1

The determination of the amount of service available to a person is based on an assessment of needs. PCA services provided include the following:

  • Assistance with activities of daily living (e.g., eating, toileting, grooming, dressing,bathing, transferring, mobility, and positioning)
  • Assistance with instrumental activities of daily living (e.g., meal planning andpreparation, managing finances, and shopping for essential items)
  • Assistance with health-related procedures and tasks
  • Intervention for behavior, including observation and redirection

PCA program statistics (does not include managed care enrollees) for fiscal year 2016:

  • Total MA expenditures: $607.7 million
  • Monthly average recipients: 20,795
  • Average monthly cost per recipient: $2,435
  1. Level I behavior means physical aggression towards self, others, or destruction of property that requires the immediate response of another person (Minn. Stat. § 256B.0659, subd. 1, para. (c)).

The content of this and any related posts has been copied or adopted from the Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department’s Information Brief, Long-Term Care Services for the Elderly, written by legislative analyst Danyell Punelli.