September 6, 2018

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The National PACE Association applauds the House Ways and Means Committee for unanimously supporting the Comprehensive Care for Seniors Act of 2018, H.R. 6561, and reporting the bill out of committee Wednesday. The bill is now eligible for consideration by the full House of Representatives.

H.R.  6561 directs the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to issue the PACE final regulation by December 31, 2018.

“NPA is grateful for the strong bipartisan support of PACE evident in Congress,” said NPA president & CEO Shawn Bloom. “Today we are particularly appreciative of the leadership of U.S. House Ways & Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX-8), Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-MA-1), and other members of the committee including, sponsor Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN-2), original cosponsors Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS-2), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), Judy Chu (D-CA-27) and Ron Kind (D-WI-3), and cosponsor Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL-26).”

With programs in 31 states, PACE provides care to individuals age 55 and over who qualify for a nursing home level of care. PACE is the most successful model for keeping individuals out of nursing homes and in the community, where they enjoy a higher quality of life, remain connected to the community and receive care in the most cost-effective way.

The Comprehensive Care for Seniors Act of 2018 is a direct response by Congress to the ongoing delay by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in releasing the new PACE Final Rule. After many years of work with NPA and PACE providers, CMS released the Proposed PACE Rule (CMS-4168-P) in August 2016 for public comment. More than two years later, the Final Rule has yet to be issued by CMS. NPA anticipates that the Final Rule will increase operating flexibility and provide increased access to PACE services—both of which are critically needed, since the current regulations date to 2006. H.R. 6561 would require CMS to issue the PACE Final Rule by December 31, 2018. 

“A long-held goal of the PACE community is expanding the model, so it is available to everyone who could benefit from it,” Bloom said. “It is a testament to the hard work of our membership to see CMS support both increased operating efficiency and new opportunities opening up to expand PACE.”

Introduced on July 26, the other cosponsors of H.R. 6561 are: Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12), Chris Smith (R-NJ-4), Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ-2).  Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE) introduced the companion bill on August 1 and the following Senators have cosponsored the bill Pat Toomey (R-PA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Bill Cassidy (R-LA).. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). NPA commends all of the Members of Congress supporting the legislation.

The National PACE Association (NPA) works to advance the efforts of Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE®). PACE programs coordinate and provide all needed 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 the NPA website at www.npaonline.org.

Contact Robert Greenwood at RobertG@npaonline.org or 703-535-1522.

 

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