July 3, 2018

New regulation will allow PACE the flexibility to grow faster and serve more seniors in need

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The National PACE Association (NPA) applauds the 69 members of the U.S. House of Representatives who signed and sent a letter to Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), urging the agency to quickly finalize and update the regulations governing the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE®), the most successful program in the country at keeping nursing home-eligible seniors living in the community for as long as possible. 

“The National PACE Association, PACE providers and CMS staff have worked together for many years to craft new regulations that would provide PACE organizations more flexibility to operate more efficiently and grow more quickly,” said NPA president and CEO Shawn Bloom. “So many seniors and the family members who care for them would benefit from having access to PACE. We continue to look for opportunities to grow PACE more quickly.”

NPA has worked with congressional leaders to find ways to bring the benefits of PACE to more Americans. 

“PACE works,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), who along with Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ-4), Lynn Jenkins (R-KS-2), and Ron Kind (D-WI-2) led the effort to advance the letter among their House colleagues. “Allowing individuals to stay connected in their community not only means better care and improved health but also higher quality of life. These reforms will improve the program and make sure that more seniors and people living with disabilities get the care they need.”

“The PACE program has a proven track record of boosting the quality of life for seniors, the disabled and their families and empowering them with the option to live at home while receiving comprehensive, quality health care,” said Rep. Smith, a long-time advocate who helped bring PACE to New Jersey. “It is time to update the regulatory framework for PACE, and I urge CMS to issue a proper final rule soon to ensure that the needs of those relying on this program get the best, most efficient care possible.”

Using an interdisciplinary team approach, PACE provides care in the community to older individuals who qualify for nursing home care. Enrollees enjoy a higher quality of life, remain connected to their community, and receive care in the most cost-effective way. PACE reduces costs associated with emergency room visits, unnecessary hospital admissions and long-term nursing home placements. PACE programs operate in 31 states, serving more than 45,000 individuals.

The existing regulatory framework for the program is more than a decade old and needs reform. The new regulations would allow PACE organizations to include qualified community physicians as part of the PACE interdisciplinary team, use nurse practitioners and physician assistants as primary care providers, have greater flexibility to provide more services outside of the PACE center, and configure the PACE interdisciplinary team to meet the needs of each enrollee.

NPA expresses special thanks to Reps. Blumenauer, Smith, Jenkins and Kind for their leadership in this effort. 

The following House members also signed the letter to CMS: Bradley Byrne (R-AL-1), Lou Barletta (R-PA-11), Nanette Barragán (D-CA-44), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12), Mike Bishop (R-MI-8), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-1), Michael Capuano (D-MA-7), Andre Carson (D-IN-7), Matt Cartwright (D-PA-17), Judy Chu (D-CA-27), Katherine Clark (D-MA-5), Yvette Clarke (D-NY-9), Lou Correa (D-CA-46), Joe Crowley (D-NY-14), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL-26), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA-11), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25), 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), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA-6), Garrett Graves R-LA-6), Brian Higgins (D-NY-26), Duncan Hunter (R-CA-50), John Katko (R-NY-24), Mike Kelly (R-PA-3), Joseph Kennedy (D-MA-4), Dan Kildee D-MI-5), Leonard Lance R-NJ-7), Jim Langevin (D-RI-2), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI-14), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ-2), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47), Michelle Lujan Grisham D-NM-1), Stephen Lynch (D-MA-8), Doris Matsui (D-CA-6), James McGovern (D-MA-2), Seth Moulton (D-MA-6), Grace Napolitano (D-CA-32), Dan Newhouse R-WA-4), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ-9), Scott Peters (D-CA-52), David Price (D-NC-4), Jim Renacci (R-OH-16), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-27), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40), Ed Royce R-CA-39), Steve Russell (R-OK-5), Linda Sánchez (D-CA-38), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9), Kurt Schrader (D-OR-5), Albio Sires (D-NJ-8), Jackie Speier (D-CA-14), Eric Swalwell R-CA-15), Paul Tonko (D-NY-20), Niki Tsongas (D-MA-3), Juan Vargas (D-CA-51), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY-7), Peter Visclosky (D-IN-1), Jackie Walorski R-IN-2), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23), and Frederica Wilson (D-FL-24).

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The National PACE Association 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.

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