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What's the difference between Service Provider Mode and Fiscal Intermediary Mode?

What’s the difference between Service Provider Mode and Fiscal Intermediary Mode?

DCI is designed to accommodate both Service Providers and Fiscal Intermediaries through two modes, commonly referred to as SP Mode and FI Mode. Each customer works out of the mode that applies to them. If an organization acts as both a Service Provider and Fiscal Intermediary, they might have two instances of DCI. Some resources in the DCI Help Center are only applicable to one mode or the other; these resources are under the Service Provider and Fiscal Intermediary headings in the Help Center.

Service Provider:

Service Providers receive funding (whether public or private) to provide direct care services. These services may include residential/24-hour, day, vocational, respite, in-home care, professional parent/foster, etc. Service Providers employ, manage, and pay the care providers, and then bill the funding source for reimbursement based on services provided. Service Provides may pay their employees differently than what is billed for services.

Fiscal Intermediaries:

Fiscal Intermediaries facilitate billing and payroll for people who are eligible for services and choose to self direct their care. In this scenario, the people receiving services (commonly referred to as participants) or their guardians choose their own employer and employees. Participants may be their own employers. Employers are responsible for hiring and managing employees and service provision, while the Fiscal Intermediary is responsible for paying employees and billing the funding source. Fiscal Intermediaries must bill what they pay, meaning care providers’ pay will always match what is billed.

Key Differences Between SP and FI Mode:


SP Mode

FI Mode

Supervisor Role


Available; only used for agency employed supervisors

Employer Role

Not Available


Scheduling Module

Available and managed by the Supervisor Role.

Available, but Employers cannot manage it; therefore the Scheduling Module is not applicable to FI Mode at this time.

Service Type

Service Providers may use one or all of the service types in DCI (Day, Residential, Parenting, Group, Hourly ).

All Service Types are available in DCI, but FI’s only take advantage of Hourly.

Ability to select different OT rates based on the relationship between employee and client

Not Available


Dollar Based Authorizations

Available but rarely used

Available and used often


Supervisor vs Employer Privileges in DCI


  • Edit Employee/Client Details
  • Add Employee/Client Service Accounts
  • Add/Edit/Approve/Reject/Cancel Employee Punches and Client Absentee/Attendance Punches
  • Add Notes/Attachments
  • Add/Modify Employee/Client Schedules
  • Run reports


  • Add/Edit/Approve/Reject/Cancel Employee Punches
  • Add Notes/Attachments
  • Run reports for associated cost center(s)


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