This year, InnovAge is proud to partner with the Alliance for Health Policy (AHP) for their series of discussions on aging in America. One of our key areas of focus at InnovAge is to educate policy makers and others about the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and the role it can play in supporting our aging population.
Through our efforts in recent months, we’ve heard some common themes and questions. I’d like to take a moment to address some of these misconceptions about PACE and share how InnovAge plans to raise awareness of this vital program on a national scale.
The program is not a form of payment
Many participants in the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly receive Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Most pay little or nothing out-of-pocket. Medicare and Medicaid are payer models – meaning they help to pay for healthcare bills after you visit doctors and pharmacies. InnovAge is also a payer, but we are much more than a payment method. We are also a provider of care.
PACE provides community-centered, personalized care for seniors, and one of its main features is the physical centers where they receive wrap-around medical care as well as transportation to and from their medical appointments. PACE also offers social activities designed for older adults that foster a sense of belonging and connectedness among participants. Many develop lasting friendships through the program – choosing to celebrate holidays, birthdays, and even weddings at their center. Visit any InnovAge PACE center, hear stories of participants and caregivers who see PACE as a lifeline for them and their families, and you’ll soon see the value of broadening the PACE umbrella across this country.
InnovAge can expand PACE on a national scale
PACE is a different way to think about aging, and InnovAge is a different way to think about PACE. Since the first center opened in California in the 1970s, the program has grown to serve approximately 45,000 seniors in 31 states. There is a tremendous opportunity – and a need – to reach the 1.7 million seniors who are potentially eligible for the program. Most PACE providers aren’t equipped to grow. InnovAge’s model allows us to operate PACE centers across geographies, scaling the program to serve hundreds of seniors in each of our centers – all while maintaining the highest quality of care for those we serve.
We are actively working to educate policy makers and spread awareness about PACE with new initiatives and partnerships, like the one we have with Alliance for Health Policy. InnovAge will be at AHP’s upcoming summit on Oct. 10 and its congressional briefing on Dec. 7. Both events are open to the public. For more information and to register, visit allhealthpolicy.org