As the cost of long-term care continues to rise, policymakers and others are seeking new ways to control costs while maintaining or increasing customer satisfaction. Currently, there is increasing interest among the aging and disability communities in models of consumer-directed health care. Among them is "cash and counseling," in which cash allowances, coupled with information services, are paid directly to disabled persons allowing them to arrange and purchase the services they feel best meet their needs. The Cash and Counseling Program consists of demonstrations and evaluations of programs in three states: Arkansas, Florida, and New Jersey. The purpose of the program is to evaluate, using a true experimental design, the impact of permitting consumers to take on the responsibility of managing a cash allowance and arranging their own services.

The program is sponsored by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.