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Glossary of terms

  • Fiscal Intermediary (FI)
    A fiscal intermediary is an agency hired by MassHealth to help you with the employer-required tasks of employing a PCA.
    With the assistance of the FI, you will be able to pay your PCAs with MassHealth funds.
  • Personal Care Assistant (PCA)
    A PCA, also known as a personal care assistant or personal care attendant, is a person who is recruited and hired by you to physically assist you in performing activities of daily living (ADLs) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs). IADLs include household services such as laundry, shopping, housekeeping, meal preparation, transportation to medical providers, and other special needs. You may hire one of more PCAs, as necessary, to meet your needs.
  • Personal Care Management (PCM) agency
    MassHealth contracts with PCM agencies to provide PCA users with a variety of services that will support you while you are participating in the MassHealth PCA program.
  • Prior Authorization
    Before you can begin to use PCA services, you must contact a PCM agency which will obtain an authorization from MassHealth for you.
    If you are enrolled in the MassHealth Primary Care Clinician (PCC) Plan, your PCC may provide a referral for you. Your PCM agency would get this referral for you.
    If you are enrolled in a Senior Care Option (SCO) or the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), personal care services will be provided
  • Rewarding Work Call Center
    If you need assistance in establishing and account or accessing the PCA directory, you may contact the toll-free Rewarding Work Call Center. Consumers should call 1-866-212-WORK (9675). Workers should call 1-866-211-WORK (9675). If you phone the wrong number, operators will direct you to the office that can help you.
  • Service Agreement
    A written Service Agreement that describes your role and responsibilities, as well as those of others involved in supporting your use of the PCA program. The Service Agreement will include a backup plan if your regularly scheduled PCA is unable or unavailable to work for you.
  • Surrogate
    A surrogate is a person who knows you and your needs and will share in the management of the PCA program.
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