Coordinated Assessment System (CAS) Explained

Interview process
Caregivers and family members of an individual with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) understand the importance of a person-first approach to resources and services for their loved one. To ensure a loved one is receiving services applicable to their needs, assessments have been done on a regular basis noting any changes in between.

The New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has recently revamped their evaluation tool with the Coordinated Assessment System (CAS) designed to feel more like a conversation between the individual and those close to them to acquire the best possible information about the person and their specific needs.

The CAS also looks at areas beyond personal care and includes the individual’s  interests, living skills, health, behavior, and support system to develop a care plan that is unique to them. Interviews are conducted by specially trained CAS assessors with the individual as well as their Care Manager, family members, friends, and others who are important in the person’s life.

How is the CAS administered?

The CAS is a 3-part process which includes: discussion/observation with the person, discussion with others who know the person well (i.e. such as family members, residential support staff), and a review of supporting documents. The CAS uses a person-centered approach throughout the assessment process, which begins at the scheduling of the first discussion/observation with the person. The CAS is not a checklist of questions asked and answered. During the person’s discussion/observation, certain areas of the CAS are answered only by the person. Other areas of the CAS require input by those who know the person well, such as direct input from care providers, family, and/or advocates that can only be answered with the information they provide.  -OPWDD

The completed CAS interviews will provide information for the person’s Life Plan. Details in the summary will identify any areas which may need to be addressed, such as specific areas of resources and support, along with singular strengths and weaknesses and what is best suited for them as an individual.

The CAS is currently being used for care planning purposes and in the future it will be also be used to help make decisions about services and funding based upon a person’s needs. It is imperative that the assessment accurately portray each individual’s needs for assistance to ensure funding is received to meet those needs.

Each individual and their advocate will be contacted to participate in the assessment, if they have not been already. We realize there are questions about the CAS interview process and we are available to answer them. In addition, you can access the OPWDD website which provides details on Care Coordination and the Coordinated Assessment System (CAS).

Opengate addressed the upcoming Managed Care transitions in our article about Care Coordination which develops individualized Life Plans and coordinates all health, wellness, personal care and behavioral health services to provide innovative person-centered care management to individuals.

As always, we stand by our mission to provide the best care possible for our individuals and their families, and acknowledge each individual’s needs with respect and dignity.

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