Self-directed care is an innovative program model for people with disabilities, in which participants control an individual budget and are empowered to customize their own service plans. In self-directed care programs for individuals with chronic mental health conditions, consumers may use their individual budgets to purchase traditional mental health services and/or non-traditional goods/services such as transportation, professional training, and gym memberships. Participants are permitted to purchase the services of any willing provider regardless of whether they qualify for Medicaid reimbursement.
Self-directed care programs have the potential to offset prevalent sources of consumer dissatisfaction with mental health care and improve consumer engagement by increasing flexibility in choosing services and providers. Some important challenges to expanding self-directed services remain, however. These include: determining how to ensure the quality of the care consumers receive through these flexible programs, figuring out how to make these programs responsive to the episodic nature of serious mental illness, and determining how to sustain the programs' fiscal solvency.
Report Title: Feasibility of Expanding Self-Directed Services to People with Serious Mental Illness http://aspe.hhs.gov/daltcp/reports/2012/ExpSDSFeas.shtml
Agency Sponsor: OASPE, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
Federal Contact: Kirsten Beronio, 202-690-6443
Contract Performer: University of Maryland
Record ID: 10217 (March 22, 2013)