Congressman Blumenauer Introduces Bill to Provide Comprehensive Care at Home for Seniors
Washington, DC – Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) along with Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today introduced the Comprehensive Care for Seniors Act of 2019. This bipartisan legislation urges the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to improve Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a program that provides high-quality, comprehensive community-based care to seniors with medically complex conditions who wish to live at home.
“Elderly individuals and those living with disabilities in communities across the country greatly benefit from the PACE program and they deserve top-notch care in the comfort of their own home,” said Congressman Blumenauer. “PACE programs operate under regulations last updated in 2006. This legislation will force this administration to modernize this program and make it available to Americans in need.”
“Throughout its history PACE has benefited from strong champions in Congress like Rep. Blumenauer," said Shawn Bloom, president and CEO of the National PACE Association. "We applaud the Representative's leadership and thank him for reintroducing The Comprehensive Care for Seniors Act. The lack of an updated rule hampers the ability of PACE programs to innovate and grow to meet the increasing number of seniors who want to live at home as long as possible as well as their family members"
“Seniors facing health challenges should be able to get the health care and services they need while continuing to live at home,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “PACE programs allow seniors to live safely in their communities by providing fully-integrated services, resulting in longer lives, better health outcomes, and fewer hospital visits. When I visited Saint Joseph PACE in Mishawaka last year, I saw firsthand how these effective and innovative programs can change people’s lives for the better. However, PACE regulations are long overdue for an update, and I am committed to working across the aisle to ensure CMS finally modernizes these programs so more Hoosier seniors can live at home longer.”
Ellen Garcia, Executive Director of Providence Elderplace, a PACE Center in Portland, Oregon, said “Rep. Blumenauer and his staff have been instrumental in advancing the mission of PACE to serve vulnerable seniors. Providence St. Joseph Health is grateful for his vision and leadership on this bill.”
PACE provides Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries 55 years of age or older, who meet the criteria for a nursing home level of care but wish to live at home, with the entire spectrum of medical and long-term care services and supports, and addresses all other biopsychosocial needs. Multiple studies show that people receiving care from PACE organizations live longer, experience better health, have fewer hospitalizations and spend more time living at home than those receiving care through other programs.