August 2, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Robert Greenwood at 703-535-1522 or Robertg@npaonline

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The National PACE Association (NPA) applauds Sens. Thomas Carper (D-DE), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-IN-2 ), Lynn Jenkins (R-KS-2), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12), Judy Chu (D-CA-27), Chris Smith (R-NJ-4), Ron Kind (D-WI-2), and Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12) for their leadership in introducing S. 3338 and H.R. 6561 directing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to publish the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE®) Final Rule by Dec. 31.

“We appreciate leaders in Congress supporting our efforts to expand the number of individuals who can benefit from the unique PACE model of care,” said Shawn Bloom, president and CEO of the National PACE Association (NPA). “NPA and PACE organizations have been working for years to obtain greater flexibility in the PACE regulations to help PACE grow faster and reach more people.”

The impetus for the legislation is the release by CMS of the Proposed PACE Rule (CMS-4168-P) in August 2016. Almost two years later, the Final Rule has yet to be issued by CMS. NPA anticipates that the Final Rule will increase flexibility. PACE providers have been calling for badly needed regulatory changes, which would allow them to grow faster, operate more efficiently, and improve care for enrollees. The current regulations are more than a decade old, dating to 2006.

“We are gratified that Congress listened to our concerns about our outdated regulation and the challenges of serving our high-cost, high-need population under these constraints,” Bloom said. 

PACE programs serve those whose health conditions qualify them for nursing home care but allow them to remain in the community for as long as possible. Despite serving such a frail population, 95 percent of PACE enrollees live in the community, with the appropriate services and supports provided by the program.

“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 new opportunities opening up to expand PACE.”

Specifically, the Final Rule is expected to allow PACE to customize the composition of the interdisciplinary team around the needs of each individual enrollee, provide more services in community settings outside of the PACE center, and allow PACE greater flexibility to partner with community providers.

“The flexibility we anticipate will be provided in the PACE Final Rule will enable practices that have been developed and tested in the field during more than two decades of experience, during which PACE providers have served many different types of people, families and communities,” Bloom said.

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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.

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