The Governor’s PAUSE Act, which shut down non-essential businesses on March 22, does not apply to Consumer Directed Personal Assistance (CDPA). Fiscal Intermediaries and Personal Assistants are considered essential healthcare workers.
The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance (CDPA) Program is a Medicaid-funded service that improves the quality of life for people who require personal assistance at home due to their disability or chronic illness. CDPA provides the least restrictive level of care and an alternative to the traditional medical model of home health care. BRIDGES provides Fiscal Intermediary services as well as technical and practical support to people who are living with a disability or chronic condition and empowers them to hire their own Personal Assistant (PA) and manage their own care.
The CDPA Program is a vital service for people with disabilities and those who live with a chronic condition. Without CDPA or the dedicated PAs who provide care, many people with disabilities would be forced to go into a nursing home where they would lose their independence and the flexibility and freedom to choose their own caregivers. Personal Assistants are dedicated healthcare workers who have persevered through the current COVID-19 epidemic and continue providing service to Consumers at their own risk. People with disabilities rely on PAs to assist them with the daily activities of living, and to provide medications, meals, and other essential services.
With the ongoing impact of COVID-19 still not fully understood, many people with disabilities have questions about how the virus may impact them. Organizations such as the American Diabetes Association have stated that people with chronic conditions, such as diabetes, though not necessarily at a higher risk of contracting the virus, face a higher risk of experiencing serious complications if they do contract COVID-19. However, when chronic conditions are managed well, the risk lessens. People with disabilities or who have a chronic condition depend upon their PAs to help them manage their conditions. PAs perform vital services that directly impact the health of people with disabilities. It is crucial that New York State recognize exactly how important these essential healthcare workers are in the fight against COVID-19 and many other illnesses.