Bill Would Expand Community Care Program to People with Disabilities Under Age 55

A bill recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would give people under age 55 access to a program that now helps nursing home-eligible seniors remain in their homes far longer than they might otherwise be able to do.

The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provides care to approximately 56,000 seniors.  The program, which is only offered through 103 sites in 31 states, allows people over the age of 55 who require a nursing home level of care to receive comprehensive services in the community.  PACE providers receive a per-patient stipend from the government and are required to use the funds to cover all of the patient's medical needs, including regular doctor appointments, adult day health care and other services.  

The PACE Pilot Act of 2014, introduced by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Chris Smith (R-NJ), would expand access to PACE to those under age 55.  The bill provides budget-neutral funding for states to implement pilot programs for people with serious disabilities to enter the PACE program and take advantage of its "one-stop shop" for medical care.  Shawn Bloom, president and CEO of the National PACE Association, an advocacy group representing PACE providers, praised the legislation for allowing "PACE organizations the flexibility to implement proven innovations to grow faster, serve more communities and care for greater numbers of people with long term needs.”

To read an article about the bill in McKnight's Long-Term Care News, click here.

To read a press release about the PACE Pilot Act from Representative Smith's office, click here.

Article Last Modified: 05/30/2014