If you are struggling to coordinate the care and senior living needs of your elderly loved one, you might want to learn about a program of all-inclusive care or Pace. Pace programs are comprehensive and offer services for people who are ages 55 and older and who are frail enough to be categorized as eligible for nursing homes by Medicaid. To learn more about Pace, you can talk to the professionals at Elder Care Direction.
What is Pace?
Pace is a comprehensive program for the elderly that helps to coordinate care for elderly adults. In order to be eligible for Pace, people must be 55 or older, certified by the state as needing nursing home care, live near a Pace program, and be able to remain safely living in the community. Pace programs offer many services, including the following:
- Primary and specialty medical care
- Social services
- Multiple therapies
- Day center services
- Home care
- Transportation to medical appointments
- Minor modifications to homes for disabilities
Pace was originally developed by the On Lok Senior Health Services organization in the early 1970s in San Francisco. On Lok opened its first day health center in 1972 and expanded the model to include social services and complete medical care in 1978. Inpatient services were added in 1990, and the programs are now available in 31 states. Pace was established as a permanent part of Medicare by Congress in 1997, and it is an option under some state Medicaid programs. There are currently 134 Pace programs in the U.S., and the largest has more than 2,500 patients enrolled.
How Pace works
Pace programs are administered through health care providers that employ many different health care professionals, including doctors, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and others. The health care professionals provide care for elderly adult enrollees and are reimbursed at a fixed per-patient monthly rate. The professionals are responsible for the provision of all of the health services, including transportation for the patients.
Many Pace patients have several diagnoses, and the average number is seven per patient. The most common issues include diabetes, vascular disease, cardiac problems, and hypertension. The programs work to keep the enrollees as healthy as possible, and some programs offer extensive preventive services.
Pace services are organized in centers called Pace centers. These may have a day health center, nursing staff, doctors’ offices, rehabilitation services, and administrative personnel in one location. The enrollees may attend the centers occasionally or up to seven days per week, depending on their needs and care plans. The care team completes the care planning with the member and family members.
Determining whether your loved one might benefit from Pace
If your loved one is older than 55 and is medically frail, he or she might qualify for Pace. You will first need to talk to the state about getting your loved one certified as nursing-home eligible. If he or she receives the certification, your loved one may be able to enroll in a Pace program.
Your loved one might benefit from participating in a Pace program if he or she wants to remain living in the community for as long as possible but needs help with coordinating his or her health and social needs. For help with determining whether Pace might be a good option for your loved one, you can consult with the professionals at Elder Care Direction. We can explain the program in detail and help your loved one to find out if he or she is eligible. We can then help you to find out if your loved one has a nearby program in which he or she can enroll. Call us today to schedule your appointment.