Chapter 17: Paraprofessional Services

17.1 Overview

This chapter describes when to use paraprofessional services, how to plan for services, how to locate and train paraprofessionals, and when to use comparable benefits.

17.2 When to Use Paraprofessional Services

Services provided by paraprofessionals may include:

  • assisting with medication or therapeutic regimens;
  • preparing and serving meals;
  • assuring that health and safety needs are met;
  • assisting with the activities of daily living, including assisting with hygiene and laundry;
  • providing supervision and care to meet basic needs; and
  • ensuring evacuation in case of an emergency.

Paraprofessional services can be provided in all service arrays, for approved medical needs only, but are provided in the home only when necessary to enable consumer participation. The CRS program provides personal attendant care when necessary to enable the consumer to participate in outpatient therapies or post-acute rehabilitation non-residential services for traumatic brain injury or traumatic spinal cord injury.

Paraprofessional services are provided as outlined in the provider’s contract for both inpatient comprehensive medical rehabilitation services and post-acute rehabilitation residential services.

17.3 Planning for Paraprofessional Services

In determining the rehabilitation goal, consider that the consumer will eventually assume financial responsibility for attendant services.

Consider providing services that allow the consumer to do things independently (for example, an environmental control system or an automatic patient lift). The initial cost for assistive technology usually is higher than purchasing attendant care, but may be more economical in the long term.

17.4 Locating and Training Paraprofessionals

You and the consumer share the responsibility for locating a suitable paraprofessional. However, because of the individualized nature of these services, the consumer should assume primary responsibility for instructing the personal attendant regarding his or her specific needs. The consumer should also inform you about the attendant's job performance.

17.5 Comparable Benefits

Use comparable benefits when they are appropriate for the consumer’s needs and are available in a timely manner before service funds for the case are available. When service funds are available, you may use them to supplement comparable services, as necessary.