Capitol Building at Sunset
S. 1163
by Kristin Easterling

Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) help medically complex low-income seniors and people with disabilities age in their homes and communities. Many of the seniors in PACE are dual-eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.

PACE serves as an alternative and complement to Medicaid-covered home- and community-based services. PACE provides comprehensive care for low-income seniors and people age 55 and up with disabilities by integrating Medicare coverage and Medicaid long-term services and supports.

While PACE programs have helped many seniors stay in their homes, the programs have not received the support needed to expand. The United States Senate Special Committee on Aging, led by Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania), recently introduced the PACE Plus Act to help increase seniors’ access to PACE.

LEGISLATION

The PACE Plus Act would bolster the PACE model of care by:

  • Increasing the number of PACE programs nationally by making it easier for states to adopt PACE as a model of care and providing grants to organizations to start PACE centers or expand existing PACE centers;
  • Expanding the number of seniors and people with disabilities eligible to receive PACE services by ensuring individuals needing a high level of care are eligible for PACE, and incentivizing states to grow their PACE programs; and
  • Reducing the administrative burden on PACE programs through improved technical assistance and streamlined application processes.

The legislation provides 30 grants for new PACE locations, particularly in rural or underserved areas. The grants for these new PACE locations can be up to, but not exceeding, $1 million. Providers must provide a plan to partner with their local or state area agency on aging.

States without active PACE providers can apply for grants of up to $100,000 to help establish a provider in their state.

What the industry is saying:

“Our experience during the pandemic has highlighted the need for home- and community-based long-term care options. PACE has a long track record of success caring for individuals in their homes and communities even as their long-term needs change. We are thankful for Sen. Casey’s visionary leadership in introducing The PACE Plus Act, which will allow more individuals and families the choice to access PACE and receive long-term care in their homes in the future.”

—Shawn Bloom, president and CEO of the National PACE Association.

Did you know?

The interdisciplinary approach and wraparound care that PACE provides allows 55,000 individuals across 30 states to remain in their homes.

What happens next?

The PACE Plus Act was introduced on April 15, 2021. It has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance.



Kristin Easterling is managing editor of HomeCare magazine.