Frequently Asked Questions


How do I get a PCA assessment?

County public health nurses (PHN), lead agency assessors and managed care assessors complete PCA assessments and authorize individuals for services. To find your county or tribal contact, please click here.


What is a PCA?

A PCA is a personal care assistant. A PCA is a direct care worker who provides in-home care by following a care plan developed by you and a nurse (QP) focused on activities of daily living (ADLS). ADLS are everyday tasks such as assistance or support with dressing, bathing, grooming, cooking, light housekeeping, meal planning, and preparation, traveling to community events and help with shopping for food, clothing and other essential items.


What is the difference between PCA traditional and PCA choice?

PCA traditional services are carried out by an agency who is responsible for hiring, training, scheduling and evaluating your staff. You and the agency qualified professional (QP) work closely together on implementing your plan of care.

PCA Choice means that you develop your care plan and direct your care. You are responsible for hiring, training, scheduling and evaluating your staff and your QP.


Is PCA Choice or Traditional right for me?

Ask yourself if you want greater control over directing your care and if you are ready for the responsibility in finding, hiring, training and scheduling your own staff. What type of back-up plan do you have if your PCA is unable to work? How difficult is it to find PCA staff in your area?

Under either the PCA Choice or Traditional PCA model, people are entitled to have a caregiver of their choosing. Meaning whether you are PCA Choice or PCA Traditional you get to choose your caregiver, and can have that caregiver be your close friend or relative.


How do I qualify for PCA services?

PCA services are participant-centered. Recipients must have an assessment for PCA services by an assessor through a lead agency (a county, tribal government, or managed care organization).

During the assessment, the assessor determines if:

  • The recipient is able to direct his/her own care, or needs a responsible party (RP) to act on their behalf
  • A need for PCA services exists; or if PCA services are the appropriate service to meet the recipient’s assessed needs

What are home making services?

Homemaker services are delivered when the participant or the primary caregiver is unable to manage general cleaning and household activities. Homemaker services include light housekeeping, errands, meal preparation and more. For additional information, please visit our page.


How do I pay for these services?

Heartland PCA only accepts medical assistance (MA) or prepaid Medical Assistance (PMAP) payments from managed care organizations. You must qualify for services through public health intake.


What is respite care?

Respite care is a short-term care service provided during the absence of the usual primary caregiver. Respite care services enable caregivers to take a break from their role and leave their loved ones in the hands of a trusted, professional caregiver. For more information, please visit our page.


How do I switch my provider to HPCA?

Please follow the step-by-step guide or call your local office to get started.

  • Duluth: 218-727-0990
  • Finlayson: 320-233-0119
  • Bemidji: 218-755-5546
  • Hibbing: 218-263-5090