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Service codes are options that your caregiver will select when submitting time reports. Your caregiver will select a service code based on what activities they will be performing, and they could select more than one service code during a given shift. As of 2017, these are the four service codes that you will most likely be using be using: self-directed personal care, supportive home care routine, companion care, and respite.


Self-directed personal care (SDPC) hours are not payed with IRIS funds. When you are approved for the IRIS program, a nurse will visit your home for what's called a “functional screening”. During the functional screening, the nurse will discuss your routine and your daily needs, and will give you a certain amount of hours depending on your needs, and these are paid by MA. It is important to note that when you meet with the nurse, it isn't the time to be modest. Be sure to highlight every need you have and every situation in which you need care. To elaborate, say that you have a higher chance of choking, and when you choke, you have an emergency procedure (heimlich, cough assist, etc.) that you need to perform. Be sure to mention this, even if it only happens once in a blue moon. Once the functional screening is complete, you will get a number of hours that you get to use toward SDPC. These hours are meant to be used for personal care needs. Feeding, bathrooming, showering, etc. would all be examples of serviceable hours for SDPC


Supportive home care routine (SHC) is paid through your IRIS budget. This service code is used when you need total assistance with tasks essential for daily living. This includes tasks such as cleaning, grooming, dressing, meal preparation, etc. Since you require total assistance with these tasks, they are typically billed at a higher rate than the other service codes paid with IRIS. It is up to you to advocate your need for total assistance and, ergo, the need for this service code.


The next service code is companion care. Companion care is used when you have a good deal of physical independence, but need someone there for those just-in-case scenarios. For example, if you are able to manage household tasks such as cooking and cleaning, but you need someone there in case you fall, you could use this service code. Since this code is the simplest as far as work for the caregiver, this is usually paid at the minimum wage level. Keep in mind, you need to be able to advocate for yourself if you require SHC care instead of companion care.


The final service code that you will be most likely be using is respite. Respite is used when you have a full-time caregiver caregiver that requires a break, so you hire a person to give your regular caregiver a break. This is common in situations with a live-in caregiver or a parental primary caregiver.

(There are two other service codes, chores and supervision. With few exceptions, tasks completed that would qualify for these two could be covered by SHC routine and companion care)

IRIS Service Codes

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