Can Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Help to Fill the Gap in Senior Care and Housing?
Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) are federally funded programs designed to coordinate all health and medical care for eligible low income older adults. With PACE, clients turn over their MediCare and MediCal benefits to the PACE provider. From then on, that provider is responsible for managing and paying for all of the healthcare and medical needs of the person.
The first PACE program, OnLok, began in San Francisco in the 1970’s. Early on, OnLok demonstrated how programs integrating care management, medical care, clinics and therapies could improve healthcare outcomes, increase quality of life for low income seniors and reduce unnecessary skilled nursing visits and emergency hospitalizations. To be eligible, a person needs to be 55 years or older, reside in a PACE service area, be determined eligible at the nursing home level of care by the Department of Health Care Services, and be able to live safely in their home or a residential community at the time of enrollment.
Since OnLok pioneered this model, there was a gradual increase of PACE programs throughout the country. More recently, however, there has been so much demand to help the increasing amount of seniors, the number of PACE programs available has made a huge leap. Currently, there are 65 PACE programs in California, growing from 12 programs just under two years ago. Current PACE enrollment is approximately 11,000, with 95% of clients living in their homes and residential communities. PACE programs are beginning to help augment costs for assisted living because the cost of assisted living is significantly less than the cost of skilled nursing care. PACE programs throughout the state are working collaboratively with assisted living and memory care communities to support short-term transitional stays and long-term stays for clients who can no longer live safely at home.
“PACE programs and residential care facilities working together to help older adults stay out of the institutional skilled nursing environment is a tremendous benefit to low income seniors and their family members,” emphasized Mark Cimino, CEO of CiminoCare. “It takes some education and flexibility because of the significant federal regulatory requirements, but for those organizations committed to closing the gap in care for the underserved, it’s worth it.”
CiminoCare communities are proud to contract with PACE providers in the San Francisco, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Orange Counties. The company’s goal is to continue to expand our contracts as more PACE programs are established.
For more information on PACE or other assistance programs, please contact CiminoCare team members at firstname.lastname@example.org.