The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

Challenges of Systems of Care for Frail Older Persons: The United States of America Experience
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Medicare Hospital Readmissions: Issues and Policy Options. A report by the Congressional Research Service.
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The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) is a capitated benefit authorized by the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA) that features a comprehensive service delivery system and integrated Medicare and Medicaid financing. The program is modeled on the system of acute and long term care services developed by On Lok Senior Health Services in San Francisco, California. The model was tested through CMS (then HCFA) demonstration projects that began in the mid-1980s. The PACE model was developed to address the needs of long-term care clients, providers, and payers. For most participants, the comprehensive service package permits them to continue living at home while receiving services rather than be institutionalized. Capitated financing allows providers to deliver all services participants need rather than be limited to those reimbursable under the Medicare and Medicaid fee-for-service systems. The BBA established the PACE model of care as a permanent entity within the Medicare program and enables States to provide PACE services to Medicaid beneficiaries as a State option. The State plan must include PACE as an optional Medicaid benefit before the State and the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) can enter into program agreements with PACE providers. Participants must be at least 55 years old, live in the PACE service area, and be certified as eligible for nursing home care by the appropriate State agency. The PACE program becomes the sole source of services for Medicare and Medicaid eligible enrollees.

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