What Is The PACE Program For Seniors?

The Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provides a range of services, the majority of which are available on-site at a PACE Center.

PACE is a substitute for nursing home care that coordinates and offers preventative, primary, acute, and long-term care services through an interdisciplinary team (IDT) of social workers, nurse practitioners, nurses, physicians, therapists, van drivers, and aides.

Brief History

PACE began in 1971 in San Francisco as a brilliant idea conceived by Dr. William Gee and social worker Marie-Louise Ansak to create a complete system of health and social care that enabled people to get assistance while remaining in their homes.

Today, that concept has been extended into a federally financed, nationally mirrored program. There are currently 141 PACE programs operating 272 PACE centers in 30 states, assisting senior citizens in maintaining their independence, integrity, and quality of life.

The interdisciplinary team interacts with elders and their families to develop a comprehensive and organized personal care plan, schedule essential appointments, arrange experts, fill medicines, and provide transportation to and from PACE locations.

How PACE Works

Participants will receive a hot meal, interpersonal interactions, and recreational activities while they are at a PACE facility, in addition to medical clinic check-ups, physical therapy, and/or rehabilitative therapy, as recommended by the interdisciplinary team.

In California, each PACE provider provides a comprehensive variety of health and long-term care services, including emergency, hospital, and nursing home care. Once registered in PACE, the monthly payment will remain constant regardless of the type of care and services required by the member.

There are never any co-pays, deductibles, or coverage gaps with this plan. The program covers all Medicare and Medicaid-covered services, as determined by the interdisciplinary team, as well as any additional medically necessary treatment or services not covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

How To Qualify

To be eligible to participate in the PACE program, an individual must meet the following criteria:

  • must be 55 years old or older;
  • living in the PACE service area;
  • able to live soundly in the community when enrolling, and;
  • certified by the state to require a nursing home level of care.

In A Nutshell

The Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) are created for older adults who match nursing home admission criteria but desire to remain in their homes as long as possible. The program is administered by an interdisciplinary team. Typically, the services are given at an adult day health facility and are available on a daily basis. Transportation to the center is provided by the program. Certain services, however, may be delivered in the house.

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William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.
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