NJ's Cash and Counseling Program
The Personal Preference Program (PPP) began as New Jersey's Cash & Counseling Program in 1999, as part of a national research and demonstration project. The project goal was to find new and different ways for individuals to receive their Medicaid Personal Care Assistance (PCA) services, giving them more choice.
Personal Care Assistant (PCA) services are non-emergency, health related tasks. Tasks include help with activities of daily living (ADLs) and with household duties essential to the patient's health and comfort, such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation, and light housekeeping.
Using a "Cash & Counseling" approach, along with the idea of "consumer direction," PPP allows elderly and disabled adult Medicaid recipients to direct and manage their own Medicaid PCA services.
With a monthly cash allowance, participants - or "consumers" - work with a consultant to develop a Cash Management Plan (CMP). This plan helps them decide the services they need and the individuals and/or agencies they can hire to provide those services. Consumers who are cognitively impaired or unable to make their own decisions can choose a representative to make decisions on their behalf.
PPP also includes Fiscal Management (FM) services to help consumers with the financial aspects of the program. The FM handles all payroll responsibilities for participants and acts as a bookkeeping service.
The Personal Preference Program requires greater individual responsibility. But in return, it offers the consumers more control, flexibility and choice over the services they receive.