A Republican lawmaker has rounded up nine Democrats and 10 Republicans to support H.R. 3243, a bill that could expand use of a federal program that bundles coverage for acute medical care together with coverage for long-term care (LTC) services.
Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., and other supporters want to open Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) up to a wider range of people.
Managers of a PACE program get a flat monthly fee from Medicare and a flat monthly fee from Medicaid to provide both acute medical care and LTC services for people ages 55 and older who already have enough problems with the activities of daily living (ADLs) to need the kind of services that are often provided in a nursing home.
Today, 115 PACE programs are managing care for 35,000 people in 32 states, according to the National PACE Association.
H.R. 3243 would let a state ask the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ease some of the usual PACE eligibility requirements.
In a PACE eligibility waiver state, a PACE program could serve people ages 55 and older who do not yet need nursing home care, or younger people who either need nursing home care or have conditions that could lead to a need for nursing home care.