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The Gerontologist 47:763-774 (2007)
© 2007 The Gerontological Society of America

Are Consumer-Directed Home Care Beneficiaries Satisfied? Evidence From Washington State

Joshua M. Wiener, PhD1, Wayne L. Anderson, PhD1 and Galina Khatutsky, MS1

Correspondence: Address correspondence to Joshua M. Wiener, PhD, Senior Fellow and Program Director, Aging, Disability and Long-Term Care, RTI International, 701 13th Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20005-3967. E-mail: jwiener{at}

Purpose: This study analyzed the effect of consumer-directed versus agency-directed home care on satisfaction with paid personal assistance services among Medicaid beneficiaries in Washington State. Design and Methods: The study analyzed a survey of 513 Medicaid beneficiaries receiving home- and community-based services. As part of a larger study, we developed an 8-item Satisfaction With Paid Personal Assistance Scale as the measure of satisfaction. In predicting satisfaction with personal assistance services, we estimated an ordinary least squares regression model that was right-censored to account for the large percentage of respondents who were highly satisfied with their care. Results: Among the older population, but not younger people with disabilities, beneficiaries receiving consumer-directed services were more satisfied than individuals receiving agency-directed care. There was no evidence that quality of care was less with consumer-directed services. In addition, overall satisfaction levels with paid home care were very high. Implications: This study supports the premise that consumer satisfaction, an important measure of quality, in consumer-directed home care is not inferior to that in agency-directed care. The positive effect of consumer direction for older people underlines the fact that this service option is relevant for this population. In addition, this research provides evidence that home- and community-based services are of high quality, at least on one dimension.

Key Words: Home- and community-based services • Medicaid • Consumer direction

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Copyright © 2007 by The Gerontological Society of America.