Unique Role of PACE Physicians

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Unique Role of PACE Physicians

March 03, 2020
Primary care physicians at each InnovAge center play an important role in developing care plans and supporting seniors enrolled in the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). Unlike other healthcare environments, they don’t work alone. Each participant in the program has a team of medical experts who contribute to their care, providing a unique experience for each person enrolled in the program. Learn more about the role our physicians play.
 
Experts in Senior Care
Dr. Paul Evans is one of InnovAge’s medical doctors and works at InnovAge’s Peninsula PACE center in Newport News, Virginia. He sees the value of the team approach. “Our role as physicians has evolved,” he says. “We can’t possibly know everything, and we need to work as ‘pit crews,’ with each team member helping come up with the best possible care plans for participants.”
 
Dr. Evans shifted his career path from research scientist to family practice and geriatric medicine when he discovered how much he enjoyed talking with patients and their families.
 
Like him, many of InnovAge’s physicians (and nurses) have expertise in geriatrics. “Special training helps providers to know how differently medications can affect a person as they age,” says Dr. Lynn Strange, regional medical officer at InnovAge. “It helps them be able to tailor treatment plans based on their patient’s goals for care.”
 
More Flexibility
With the PACE model, InnovAge’s physicians are expected to provide high quality care to each individual participant. “Unlike in fee-for-service models, providers aren’t paid based on how many patients they can see in an hour,” explains Dr. Strange.
 
Dr. Evans prefers to spend as much time as possible talking with participants and their families in the participant’s home. “Home visits are more relaxed,” he says. “There’s nothing better than sitting with the family talking about their loved one’s care. I’m a guest in their home and they are more comfortable and trusting.”
 
PACE physicians also have fewer restrictions placed on them in terms of prescribing and treatment options, and they see participants regularly. On average, participants in PACE see their primary care physician four times each year – not including the visits they may have with other medical staff throughout the year.
 
Importance of Team-Based Care
Working as an integrated team with other specialists in PACE provides physicians in-depth knowledge about each participant. “The members of the team bring knowledge and perspective on a patient not normally available to a provider,” says Dr. Strange.
 
Dr. Evans agrees. “Whether you’re a nurse, a driver, or have another role, you have the opportunity to give your input on participant care every day,” he says.
 
To learn more about being a doctor with InnovAge PACE, watch our video here.
 
doctor nurse and participant image

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