Alexian Brothers Community Services PACE joins caregivers across the country celebrating a historic milestone in the growth of community-based care for seniors. With the opening of four new programs this month, the number of Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) now exceeds 100 nationwide. PACE, which was developed in San Francisco in the 1970s, helps to keep nursing home-eligible elders living in the community.
“The story of PACE is a rarity in today’s health care policy environment,” said Shawn Bloom, president and CEO of the National PACE Association. “PACE is a commonsense approach to providing care to older people that was rigorously studied and tested and then able to become a permanent part of our health care system. We don’t often see successful innovations allowed to thrive and grow like PACE.”
PACE programs bring together a coordinated team of doctors, nurses, social workers and therapists to provide seniors with an individualized care plan that addresses each person’s unique medical care and social needs. The result is higher quality care and far more favorable outcomes compared to traditional care options. More than 90 percent of PACE enrollees reside outside of nursing homes.
“In Chattanooga, TN, Alexian Brothers PACE has been operating a program for 15 years,” said Criss Grant, Director of Planning and Communication. “We are very proud of the hundreds of individuals and families we have helped by providing a way to keep older individuals in the community for as long as possible.”
The PACE model was developed in the 1970s in San Francisco by On Lok, a community-based organization serving Chinese and Italian American neighborhoods. Marie-Louise Ansak, a health care consultant, developed the model with the goal of allowing elders to remain in their communities for as long as possible. The PACE model was so successful it was studied by the state of California and federal health care policy officials.
Support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the John A. Hartford Foundation led to the development of a Medicare Demonstration Project and start-up funds for different types of sponsors to develop PACE in their communities. The success of 15 PACE replication programs led Congress to pass legislation creating PACE as a permanent provider type as part of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Just this week, President Obama’s 2015 budget proposal seeks to extend the role of PACE by calling on Congress to create a PACE pilot program for people age 55 and under who need long-term services and supports.
PACE is unique because it integrates care delivery by directly providing all medically necessary care and services through an interdisciplinary team, transportation system and PACE center. Using a bundled payment model, PACE serves high-need, high-cost individuals who require daily hands-on care.
The four new PACE organizations opening this month are in California, Massachusetts, Michigan and Virginia. There are now 103 PACE organizations operating under different providers in 31 states. For more information about Alexian Brothers PACE, please call 698-0802.