Concepts of Independence is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose only purpose is to administer Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Services program (known as CDPAS or CDPAP) in the New York State. We are committed to the philosophy of CDPAP and its underlying principles of independence, consumer direction and self-determination. Our Consumers have grown to include individuals who require high-level home care services and consumers who are not independently self-directing, such as children and the elderly who require the assistance of a Designated Representative.


Concepts of Independence is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Our mission is to administer Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Services (CDPAS) in New York State. Concepts pioneered the original Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Services program in 1980, enabling severely disabled and chronically ill individuals to hire, train and supervise the Personal Assistant home care worker of their choice. CDPAS was a revolution: it allowed these severely disabled individuals to live independently, with freedom and dignity.  Further, CDPAS is administered at a lower cost than a traditional home care program, saving New York State Medicaid millions of dollars per year.

We currently work in 15 counties of New York State: the five boroughs of NYC (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island), Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Putnam, Orange, Rockland, Albany, Delaware, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, Saratoga, Schenectady, and Warren. We are committed to the philosophy of CDPAS and its underlying principles of independence, Consumer direction and self-determination.


Prior to 1980, a group of individuals with severe disabilities (the founding members of Concepts) joined together to find a community-based alternative to institutionalization. From this, the Patient Managed Home Care model was created. This would be the cornerstone of a program which recognizes that disabled individuals have the ability to choose their own caregivers and to direct their own home care services. Concepts was created as a fiscal intermediary to receive Medicaid funds on behalf of a recipient and would then distribute those funds to the caregivers in the form of wages, differentials and fringe benefits.

In 1980, Concepts began providing service to four Consumers and after one year had enrolled more than 100 Consumers. By 1993 approximately 300 self-directing Consumers in New York City were participating with Concepts. During the period 1993 to 1995, Concepts demonstrated that CDPAS, which Concepts exclusively administered, was saving the New York State Medicaid program millions of dollars.

With legislative support, the self-directed model continued to expand as a result of:

  • Modication to the New York State Nurse Practice Act that enabled Medicaid recipients with higher skilled service needs to manage the responsibility of overseeing their own high level services.
  • Creation of the New York State Social Services Law, which required all local districts to establish and ensure access to a Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program.
  • New York State added a new category of Consumer, thus permitting the program to begin to serve non-self-directing consumers with surrogates (including children and the elderly.)

Today Concepts and its aliated Concepts of Independent Choices serve over 4,000 Consumers in the five boroughs of NY City and sixteen counties that connect Long Island to the Canadian border.

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