NPA Applauds Support of House VA Committee for Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act
Bill Would Connect Programs of All-Inclusive Care for Elderly to More Veterans
WASHINGTON, DC – July 27, 2023 – The U.S. House of Representatives Veterans Affairs (VA) Committee gave its unanimous support for the Elizabeth Dole Home Care Act by a voice vote yesterday. Through this favorable vote advancing the bill, the legislation now can be debated by the full House.
The National PACE Association (NPA), which works to advance the efforts of Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), commended the committee for its action and Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA-26), lead co-sponsor; Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI-1); Mike Bost (R-IL-12), chair; and Mark Takano (D-CA39), ranking member, for their strong leadership on expanding veterans’ access to PACE and home- and community-based services.
The House should pass this important bill soon, urged NPA, which has been advocating for its passage.
“There is a substantial, documented, mutually beneficial history regarding the use of PACE by certain eligible veterans,” NPA said in testimony last year. The PACE model of care was tested by the All-Inclusive Care Delivery Pilot and the Patient-Centered Alternatives to Institutional Extended Care Program. It was proven by the VA to have significant value in terms of outcomes and costs.
“Veterans were able to remain living safely in their homes, where they wanted to be, leading to increased veteran and family satisfaction,” NPA testified. “The quality of care and coordination with the VA were outstanding, and the cost of PACE care to the VA was less than a nursing home placement.”
The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a report in 2021 comparing outcomes for dual-eligible beneficiaries in integrated care and found that PACE stood out as a consistently “high performer.” Full-benefit, dual-eligible PACE beneficiaries were significantly less likely to be hospitalized, to visit the emergency department, or to be institutionalized compared to regular Medicare Advantage enrollees.
A report by the Milken Institute outlining regulatory steps that could be taken to make PACE more accessible to middle-income families recommended PACE growth as a solution to the nation’s long-term care crisis. “Americans often underestimate the type and level of care they will need as they age, specifically the services and supports necessary to maintain the essential functions of daily life,” the report stated. “Central to PACE and its unique value proposition is the interdisciplinary team caring for each patient and the wrap-around services provided.”
The National PACE Association (NPA) works to advance the efforts of PACE programs, which coordinate and provide preventive, primary, acute and long-term care services so older individuals can continue living in the community. The PACE model of care is centered on the belief that it is better for the well-being of seniors with chronic care needs and their families to be served in the community whenever possible. For more information, visit www.NPAonline.org and follow @TweetNPA.