U.S. Representatives Advocate for PACE in Letter to CMS

Because the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has not yet released the PACE final rule or moved forward on the PACE pilots as directed by the PACE Innovation Act of 2015, U.S. Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), and Ron Kind (D-WI) asked their colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to sign onto a letter they were sending to CMS administrator Seema Verma urging CMS to release the final PACE rule and move ahead on the PACE pilots as quickly as possible.

NPA members used our Take Action webpage to ask their representatives to support PACE by signing onto the letter. On Nov. 6 a letter bearing 48 signatures of House members was sent to Verma.

NPA thanks all of our members who contacted their representatives.

We also thank the House members who acted on behalf of PACE: Alma Adams (D-NC-12), Gus M. Bilirakis (R-FL-12), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), Michael E. Capuano (D-MA-7), André Carson (D-IN-7), Ryan Costello (R-PA-6), Joseph Crowley (D-NY-14), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL-26), Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-13), Ron Estes (R-KS-4), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-8), John Garamendi (D-CA-3), Garret Graves (R-LA-6), Brian Higgins (D-NY-26), Lynn Jenkins (R-KS-2), John Katko (R-NY-24), Mike Kelly (R-PA-3), Ron Kind (D-WI-3), Leonard Lance (R-NJ-7), Jim Langevin (D-RI-2), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ-2), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM-1), Doris O. Matsui (D-CA-16), James McGovern (D-MA-2), Patrick Meehan (R-PA-7), Seth Moulton (D-MA-6), Dan Newhouse (R-WA-4), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-9), Scott Peters (D-CA-52), Jim Renacci (R-OH-16), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-27), Keith Rothfus (R-PA-12), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40), Linda Sánchez (D-CA-38), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9), Kurt Schrader (D-OR-5), Albio Sires (D-NJ-8), Chris Smith (R-NJ-4), Jackie Speier (D-CA-14), Eric Swalwell (D-CA-15), Paul D. Tonko (D-NY-20), Niki Tsongas (D-MA-3), Juan Vargas (D-CA-51), Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY-7), Jackie Walorski (R-IN-2), and Frederica Wilson (D-FL-24).

For more information, contact Francesca Fierro O'Reilly, vice president of Advocacy

Graham-Cassidy Bill Fails to Garner Enough Support for Senate Vote

On Sept. 26 Senate Republicans gathered to discuss the plan forward for the latest version of the Graham-Cassidy bill. GOP leadership announced later in the day that a vote would not be held since there were not enough senators supporting passage of the bill.

Republican Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), John McCain (R-AZ), and Rand Paul (R-KY) publicly stated their strong opposition to the bill, along with all of the Democratic senators. As a result, the bill could not garner even a simple majority of the Senate, which was necessary to pass the bill under the streamlined budget reconciliation rules that expired on Sept. 30.

NPA is pleased that the Senate could not muster enough support for the deep Medicaid cuts and per-capita cap funding methodology contained in the bill. Thanks to all of the NPA members who contacted their senators, as your voices helped keep up the pressure.

Going forward, it remains a possibility that the Senate will revisit the issue. NPA understands that many Senate Republicans would like to move away from repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and focus on tax reform. We will continue to monitor congressional efforts and keep you informed.

For more information, contact Francesca Fierro O'Reilly, vice president of Advocacy.

Post-Election and PACE

NPA has developed a post-election member update to provide information on the key policy issues of concern to PACE organizations.

At-Risk Medically Complex PACE Pilot Development

NPA worked with a group of PACE organizations, consumers and policy organizations to develop a framework for an at-risk medically complex pilot population. The At-Risk Medically Complex Pilot Framework addresses the following components of a pilot for this population:

  • eligibility criteria,
  • service delivery,
  • payment and
  • quality indicators.

NPA and the workgroup members strongly believe that a pilot guided by this framework holds great potential for improving the quality of life and quality of care experienced by individuals who are at risk of needing a nursing home level of care. Through better coordinated care that promotes well-being and slows health decline, the PACE organizations in the pilot can delay the need for nursing home care. For many, this also will delay their need to have their care paid for by state Medicaid programs.

NPA has provided the pilot framework to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and encourages CMS to use its PACE pilot authority to conduct a pilot for the at-risk medically complex population.

NPA Webinar on PACE Pilots

NPA, along with a number of disability community stakeholders, hosted a webinar titled "PACE Pilots: A New Era for Individuals with Disabilities" about the Adapted PACE Protocol on Aug. 24.

The PACE Innovation Act of 2015 provides the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) the authority to develop PACE pilots for new populations. In anticipation of the pilots, NPA and a number of disability community stakeholders have completed work on the Adapted PACE Protocol, which builds on the current PACE program design and adapts it to address the needs and concerns of younger people with disabilities.

The webinar addressed the potential pilot populations being served under the PACE Innovation Act of 2015, the Adapted PACE Protocol and next steps. Speakers included Peter Fitzgerald, executive vice president of Policy and Strategy at NPA; Esme Grant, of the American Network of Community Options and Resources; Laura Weidner, of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society; and Sarah Meek, of the Lutheran Services in America Disability Network.

You can view the webinar and the accompanying slide presentation.

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