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Personal Care Assistance

Assistance with self-administered medication

Page posted: 11/04/13

Page reviewed: 4/10/17

Page updated: 4/10/17

Legal authority

Minn. Stat. § 256B.0659, subd. 1(p)


Self-administered medication: Is medication taken orally, by injection, nebulizer, insertion or is applied topically without the need for assistance.


A personal care assistant (PCA) may assist with medication as a health-related procedure and task within the scope of PCA services.

A PCA worker must follow the PCA care plan and must be directed by either the:

  • • Person who can direct his or her own care or
  • • Responsible party
  • For any medications given as needed/intermittent (PRN) basis:

  • • The person must self-direct the PCA worker or
  • • The PCA worker must notify the responsible party before assisting with the medication.
  • The responsible party does not have to be present when the PCA assists with taking medication. However, the responsible party must assure the medication is set up as individual doses and labeled with:

  • • Name and dosage of the medication
  • • Time the medication is to be given
  • • Method to assist the person to take the medication
  • Covered services

    Assistance with medication includes:

  • • Opening medication under the direction of the recipient or responsible party, including medications given through a nebulizer
  • • Organizing medications, such as putting in a weekly pill container, if under the direction of a person who directs his or her own care
  • • Bringing the medication to the person
  • • Reminding the person to take his or her prescribed medication as directed by a licensed medical professional, including medications given through a nebulizer
  • Non-covered services

    A PCA worker cannot:

  • • Determine the medication dose or time the medication should be given
  • • Determine the need for medication or evaluate the effectiveness of the medication
  • • Set up medications, except for the medication organization described as a covered service
  • • Perform sterile procedures
  • • Inject fluids and medications into veins, muscles or skin
  • PCA provider agency responsibilities

    The provider agency's qualified professional is responsible to document the following:

  • • Description of procedure or task delegated
  • • Description of the method the PCA worker will use to assist the person with his or her self-administered medication
  • • Training of the PCA on the person-specific method to assist with the self-administered medication
  • • Ongoing supervision visits
  • • Verification that the PCA worker’s time and activity documentation corresponds to the person’s care plan
  • The PCA is responsible to document:

  • • He or she completed the task on the timecard daily
  • • He or she followed provider agency-specific policies
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