Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Program
If you or a loved one is a MassHealth member who receives hands-on support from a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) but are struggling to access these services during the COVID-19 outbreak, call the MassOptions hotline at 1-844-422-6277.
The Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Program is a MassHealth program that allows people with long-term disabilities to live at home independently. The Northeast Arc Personal Care Management (PCM) program serves about 3,600 individuals living in communities throughout northeastern Massachusetts, Greater Boston, and the Metro West area.
Our Skills Trainers, with the help of a nurse and occupational therapist, assess the personal care needs of the individual and prepare a PCA application to submit to the consumer’s insurer. The consumer’s insurance (MassHealth/Medicaid, SCO or One Care Program) grants final approval of the recommended Care Plan. Once approval is received, the Skills Trainer teaches the individual how to successfully hire, train, supervise, and pay his or her own Personal Care Attendants.
The PCA Program is a consumer-directed program meaning PCAs are hired, trained and supervised by the person with the disability (consumer). PCAs do not work for Northeast Arc or any other agency – they work for the consumer. As the employer, a consumer chooses who to hire, sets up a PCA schedule and trains PCAs to meet his or her own personal needs.
If the consumer cannot independently manage his or her PCA program, the consumer may have the help of a surrogate. The surrogate is often a family member but may be any other person identified by the consumer who has the ability to manage the program.
Northeast Arc’s Personal Care Management program works directly with Northeast Arc’s Fiscal Intermediary department to pay PCAs. Click here for the Fiscal Intermediary website.
Depending on individual need, assistance may be approved to help complete the following tasks:
Passive range of motion
Bathing or grooming
Dressing or undressing
And in some cases: light housekeeping, laundry, meal preparation, and transportation to medical appointments.
PCA time is NOT approved for:
Cueing, prompting, guiding or coaching
The Personal Care Attendant program is available to people with disabilities who meet the following conditions:
• MassHealth/Medicaid eligible
• Have a permanent or chronic disability that impairs their ability to perform activities of daily living without physical assistance
• Needs hands-on/physical assistance with two or more activities of daily living
• Have a prescription/authorization for personal care services from a Physician or Nurse Practitioner
Make a Referral
To refer someone for the PCA program, call us at 978-762-0301 or click the button below to submit a referral online.
Northeast Arc’s main phone number is 978-762-4878. For the PCM program, call 978-762-0301. The office is located at the Center for Linking Lives in the Liberty Tree Mall, 100 Independence Way STE D3, Danvers, MA 01923.
Resources for PCAs
PCA Program Overtime Rules/Regulations
PCA Overtime Update (November 22, 2016)
PCA Overtime Policy: Temporary and Continuity of Care Approval Criteria (November 22, 2016)
PCA Overtime Management FAQs (November 23, 2016)
PCA Overtime Request Form
Mass.gov: PCA Overtime Management FAQs (February 2017)