Participant Directed and Managed Services (PDMS)

Our goal is to support people, so they can reach their desired personal life outcomes.  Getting necessary and appreciated supports and services puts dreams within reach for people living with intellectual /developmental disabilities or acquired brain disorders. Community Bridges’ Participant Directed and Managed Services helps people with an intellectual/developmental disability or acquired brain disorder and their family to take a lead role in managing the services and supports they receive.

A PDMS approach means that you and your family have optimum control over program management including the design of service plans and choice of who provides services. You also have some level of control over the use of funds for certain services (within the parameters of Medicaid covered services and guidelines within state regulations). This is different from an agency managed approach in which a contracted provider agency executes program management including staff recruitment, hiring and oversight and management of approved service funds.

Services are intended to promote personal growth, responsibility, health and safety, so participants experience independence, are meaningfully included in the community, are employed, and enjoy a fulfilling home life. Support staff can be directed to provide a wide variety of assistance—all under your direction and supervision.

The Two types of Participant Directed and Managed  Services

In Home Supports – He-M 524:
Home and Community-Based Services for In-Home Supports (HCBS-IHS) offers a variety of services for people aged 3 through 21 with a developmental disability and significant medical or behavioral challenges. Supports are intended to help the child successfully live at home with their family, and to participate in community experiences. Services are geared toward developing basic personal and functional living skills, improving physical functioning, communication and relational skills, and to address challenging behaviors.

Specific child and family factors, as well as eligibility criteria help identify whether a particular situation rises to the level of need to request In Home Supports.  There are funding limitations at the state level for new In Home Support service development. We do, however, confidently encourage you to speak with your Family Directed Support Case Manager to arrange an overview about In Home Supports if you’d like to learn more.

Self-Directed Services – He-M 525:
This service structure is for people over the age of 21. The scope can include a wide variety and combination of services allowed under the HCBS-DD or HCBS-ABD Medicaid Waivers.  In order to be covered through a PDMS budget, the support needs to be related and due to disability, and not a generic need, or cost that anyone may experience. Service type can include, but is not limited to:

  • Developing increased personal competencies and skills in personal decision-making, daily living skills accessing community resources, personal, household and community safety, and maintenance of health, well-being, nutrition
  • Researching and participating in meaningful community activities, events, organizations, clubs per personal interest
  • Career development and employment supports
  • Personal Care
  • Environmental or vehicle modifications, assistive technology
  • Therapies – PT, OT, Speech – beyond what regular Medicaid can pay for, or specialized therapies such as Hippo therapy or cranio-sacral therapy
  • Respite services for those living with their families


He-M 500 Administrative Rules

What makes Participant Directed and Managed Services Different?

Customized Budgets & Plans
Participants have the option to create an individualized “budget plan” that meets their personal goals and needs from a wide range of services and activities. This means that you have the control to create a customized plan within the parameters defined by He-M 525. You can adjust the focus, services, who provides supports and where they take place.

Flexibility in Utilization of Approved Funding
Participants and Family Managers receive monthly reports that show how service funding has been utilized, based on documentation that is submitted by the family and family chosen staff. Families can choose to direct available funds toward types of supports that are needed at a given time, within some parameters. This promotes the ability control and maximize funding use.

Recruiting, Hiring and Supervising Support Staff  
When individuals and their families need to hire support staff, Community Bridges aids in recruiting, interviewing, setting expectations, and training. The Family Manager is responsible for providing supervision, approving hours worked, mileage, and monthly progress notes of staff. The family approves invoices from contracted providers, and for approved services, activities and therapies as well. Community Bridges gladly provides this support and guidance, so your outcomes will be more successful.

We believe that people deserve to have choice and control over their Home and Community Based Medicaid Waiver funds that are made available for their use. Participant Directed and Managed Services assists you through workshops and individual guidance to maximize your own success.  “Participant Directed and Managed Services” means just that! It provides the highest level of individual and family direction and decision-making with regard to formal service as well as flexibility in the utilization of funding.

While the benefits of this service structure may increase the responsibility that a family has, we believe many families are up to the task which is why we’re here to support them!

Open Family Support Positions

Primary Contacts - Self Directed Services
Heather Steeves, Manager of Family Directed Services