Carper Joins House, Senate Lawmakers to Introduce Bill to Modernize Medicare Program That Helps Seniors Live at Home

Bipartisan Legislation Requires CMS to Finalize Updated Regulations for PACE Health Care Program by End of Year

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and U.S. Representatives Jackie Walorski (R-In.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) have introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to speed up the modernization of Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), which allows seniors with complex care needs to continue living at home.

“We have a responsibility to care for the most vulnerable among us, and PACE organizations in Delaware and around the country help us to do just that by providing comprehensive and high-quality care to both seniors and those living with disabilities,” said Senator Carper. “This bipartisan legislation will help to ensure that PACE remains an integral component of care for some of our vulnerable friends and neighbors , and I urge both the House and Senate to take it up and pass it quickly.”

“Pennsylvania’s PACE programs help thousands of seniors who need an institutional-level of treatment remain in their homes while still receiving quality medical care,” said Senator Toomey. “As enrollment in PACE continues to grow, the program’s regulations must be flexible enough for providers to introduce new medical technologies that allow for better coordinated care. I hope the Finance Committee will soon take up our bipartisan legislation.”

Seniors facing health challenges should have the option to receive high-quality, comprehensive health care while continuing to live at home, and the PACE program helps them do that,” said Congresswoman Walorski. “PACE organizations across the country, including St. Joseph PACE in Mishawaka, have proven this integrated care program is effective in improving health outcomes and quality of life. The PACE program is long overdue for an update, and this bipartisan, commonsense legislation will ensure improvements are made quickly so more seniors can live at home longer.”

“The PACE program has proven to be extremely beneficial to the elderly and individuals living with disabilities in my community and in communities across the country,” said Congressman Blumenauer.“The administration has a responsibility to modernize the program and make it available to more Americans. This legislation will force this modernization and go a long way in achieving our goals of better care at lower costs for those in need.”

“We appreciate strong leaders in Congress supporting our efforts to expand the number of individuals who can benefit from the PACE model of care and the sites needed to serve them,” said Shawn Bloom, president and CEO of the National PACE Association (NPA). “The flexibility to be provided in the new PACE Final Rule are practices that have been developed and field tested over 20 years during which PACE providers have been serving many different types of people, families and communities.”

This legislation requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) to finalize updated regulations for PACE programs by the end of the year. PACE is a proven model for delivering high-quality, comprehensive, integrated, and coordinated community-based health care to seniors and individuals with disabilities who meet the criteria for nursing home care but wish to live at home. Currently, 124 PACE organizations across 31 states serve more than 45,000 people. St. Francis Healthcare operates as a PACE organization serving First State seniors in Wilmington, Delaware.