On November 5, President Obama signed into law a bill that allows the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) within CMS to establish PACE demonstrations that include individuals under age 55. The Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provide medical and social services to certain frail, community-dwelling elderly individuals, most of whom are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid benefits. An interdisciplinary team of health professionals provides PACE participants with coordinated care. For most participants, the comprehensive service package enables them to remain in the community rather than receive care in a nursing home.
The National PACE Association has been working with CMS to expand the PACE program to serve individuals under age 55, including individuals with significant disabilities. ANCOR has been involved in discussions with CMS, the National PACE Association, and other stakeholder groups to address challenges and benefits of using a PACE model for this population.
The new law will allow CMS, through the CMMI, to develop demonstrations to test the PACE model with new populations. Participants in the demonstrations must be afforded certain protections regarding enrollment and disenrollment, and have other protections in place regarding covered Medicare and Medicaid services as well. ANCOR is continuing to meet with the National PACE Association and CMS to ensure that demonstrations, when they move forward, appropriately address concerns from the disability community.
The text of the law is available here.