Interim Report: Using Peer Mentoring to Increase the Availability and Effectiveness of CDPA

Executive Summary

As part of the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Association of New York State (CDPAANYS) continuing efforts to demonstrate the effectiveness of CDPA as one of the most effective ways of realizing the Triple Aim of improving quality and satisfaction, improving outcomes and minimizing costs, the organization has undertaken an effort to study the effectiveness of peer mentoring in helping consumers choose and succeed in CDPA.

CDPAANYS peer mentoring is premised on the several successful peer mentoring programs that have been instituted in a range of services, from independent living to alcoholics anonymous to mental health services and is available to consumers and Designated Representatives using CDPA.  This valuable resource helps consumers and DR’s to coordinate their long term care services and face the many challenges research has demonstrated CDPA poses to consumers, including the tasks of employment, the feeling of isolation and general confusion about the program. Whether someone is considering or just starting CDPA, or has been using CDPA for years, our experience shows they like the ability to improve their services and their quality of care by talking with others who use the program.

Halfway through the grant period, the project appears to be accomplishing these goals. Initial survey data shows that consumers who participate in peer mentoring state find the service very effective.  Consumers first enrolling state that peer mentoring has helped influence their decision to choose to use the program by helping them learn about the general structure of CDPA as well as learn about some basic skills for building their programs.  Consumers new to the program stated that peer mentoring helped to address questions and concerns such as recruiting, hiring, scheduling and effective supervision techniques.  Consumers who have been long time users of CDPA stated that the service helped them to manage their programs more effectively, especially by helping them find solutions to challenges that are presented in the current changing health care environment.

While initial reports are encouraging, we have also seen the rapid damage to uptake that breaks in availability causes. Despite an active program in 2011 that raised awareness of the program for consumers in many areas throughout the state, any carryover was lost. Aggressive outreach was necessary to make plans, FIs and consumers aware of the program and increase the rate of people using the service, pointing to the need to identify new lines of funding so that it can be continued and grow. Additional partnerships could result in arrangements that could further strengthen the ability to increase outreach to consumers through active, instead of passive, outreach.

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