In a sign of the growing momentum to increase home- and community-based services (HCBS) Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, on Thursday introduced legislation to expand access to Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).
The bill comes on the heels of President Biden proposing $400 billion in funding for HCBS solutions. There also have been specific calls for the growth of PACE as a long-term care reform solution, including one from the Milken Institute, a think tank.
PACE helps older adults live independently. Enrollees typically receive care at home; utilize a PACE center for socializing, medication management and physician visits, transportation to the PACE center and other appointments; and any other care or service needed to maintain their highest level of functioning.
“The National PACE Association applauds Chairman Casey’s stalwart, visionary leadership,” said Shawn Bloom, president and CEO of the National PACE Association. “Given the rapidly rising numbers of aging Americans and their clear desire to age in place, it is imperative for our nation to encourage the growth of PACE- a holistic model of care well-equipped to meet their needs at home and in the community.”
Casey’s PACE Plus Act would do the following:
- Increase the number of seniors and people with disabilities eligible to receive PACE services.
- Facilitate the creation of new PACE programs and the expansion of existing ones through federal grants, as well as provide states with incentives to either adopt the model of care or increase their use of it.
- Decrease the bureaucratic burden experienced by growing PACE programs and provide additional technical assistance resources.