A Bridge to Independence


Here to help with all your questions

Dealing with information about waiver programs can be daunting. Our service and supports coordinators will guide you along the way. Read on for help with some industry terms and more.

I don’t understand some of this terminology. What is a waiver and how do I know if I qualify?
Though it sounds like a piece of paper, a waiver is a status/designation for health subsidies. For people with intellectual and/or physical disabilities who would otherwise be in an institution, nursing home, group home or hospital, Medicaid Waiver programs help provide services so they can receive long-term care and remain in their homes and communities.

What is a service coordinator and what do they do?
A service coordinator is a professional advocate who helps participants in specific medical waiver programs locate and obtain customized services to help them remain in their home or community. Waiver programs that call for service coordination are the Attendant Care Waiver/ACT 150, the OBRA Waiver and Community Health Choices (CHC). By first understanding an individual’s specific home-health and community-based needs, a service coordinator helps locate the various services available and helps choose the best options, all the while empowering the individual to achieve independence when possible.

What is a supports coordinator and what do they do?
A supports coordinator is a trained staff person who assists an individual with locating home-health and community-based services. For those on an Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities waiver — including the Adult Autism Waiver, the Community Living Waiver, the Consolidated Waiver or the Person/Family-Directed Support Waiver — a support coordinator will meet with you in your home to advocate for the supports and services that will keep you independent and thriving. A supports coordinator will also monitor options for all supports in your plan, including informal, mainstream and community needs.

What is community integration?
Community integration is a goal-based support service designed to provide short-term assistance to participants so they can develop, maintain and improve self-help, communication, socialization and adaptive skills. Community integration services include, but may not be limited to, cueing and onsite modeling.

What is a Personal Emergency Response System Unit?
A Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) is a device provided to an individual that will secure help in the event of an emergency. The system is usually connected to the participant’s phone and is programmed to send a signal to a response center when the help button is activated during an emergency situation. Many PERS providers also offer a unit that does not require a phone line to operate; instead, it operates using a cell phone tower signal in the area.

What is non-medical transportation?
Non-medical transportation services help an individual gain access to community resources and activities. These can include costs for driver(s), reimbursement for the purchase of tickets or tokens for public transportation, and more.

What are Nursing Home Transition Services?
Nursing Home Transition Services (NHT) are designed to empower participants who are currently living in a nursing facility but who wish to return to a home setting within the community. Services can include costs for the expense of establishing basic living arrangements, help with moving into the community and more. Nursing home transition staff may also help the participant locate housing, assist with home modifications and arrange for in-home care. Bridge can assist with directing you to your local NHT entity upon request.

What falls under the umbrella of Personal Assistance Services?
Personal Assistance Services (PAS) are in-home services for participants that help them remain independent in their home and community setting. PAS services include assistance with daily living tasks, such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation, household tasks and health maintenance activities.

If you have additional questions, please contact us for more information. No question is too small, and we are happy to help!