The Scripps Gerontology Center of Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) created a new program, called CHOICES, designed to increase consumer choice and control in PASSPORT, Ohio's existing Medicaid home and community-based care waiver program for older adults.
The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) national program Independent Choices: Enhancing Consumer Direction for People with Disabilities, which was designed to foster the development of consumer-directed home and community-based services for people of all ages with disabilities.
CHOICES allowed consumers in Ohio to hire and supervise their own workers and use the services of a fiscal intermediary to manage payroll and tax services. At the end of the grant period, 98 consumers were enrolled in CHOICES (with a target of 150).
The principal investigator reported findings to the Ohio Department of Aging based on data from 98 consumers enrolled in CHOICES and 18,330 consumers enrolled in PASSPORT. Among the findings:
- Sixty-three percent of CHOICES consumers appointed authorized representatives to perform program tasks they are unable to perform. Such tasks included attending CHOICES training sessions to learn how to hire and train home services workers, complete payroll-related paperwork and manage home care workers.
- Seventy-seven percent of CHOICES consumers have hired family members as paid workers.