Carper-Toomey Bill to Expand and Improve In-Home Care for America’s Seniors Goes to President for Signature

WASHINGTON – Yesterday evening, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would to allow providers to develop pilot programs using the PACE Model of Care to improve health outcomes for the elderly. The Providing Programs of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly Act (PACE) Innovation Act, cosponsored by Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), would allow the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) to include PACE in demonstration programs that test how to improve health outcomes and reduce costs for seniors who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.

Earlier this year, the Senate passed the PACE Innovation Act with bipartisan support. The bill now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

“One of my guiding principles is to find what works and do more of it,” Sen. Carper said. “This PACE legislation will give the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) the flexibility it needs to do just that by allowing this physician-led, coordinated health care program to expand as efficiently as possible in Delaware and throughout the country. We’ve begun to address the problem of rising health care costs, and broadening the reach of programs like PACE will help us continue to provide seniors with excellent health care, while also reducing costs. Providing PACE programs with the room they need to grow and innovate will give more seniors the chance to remain in their homes, while receiving excellent health care and social services.”

“In Pennsylvania, PACE, or ‘LIFE’, programs, have been extremely successful in helping seniors to remain in their own homes rather than having to go into a costly nursing home or institutional setting,” Sen. Toomey said. “The PACE Innovation Act builds on this successful approach. I urge the President to sign this bipartisan legislation into law so an even greater number of vulnerable and disabled individuals who wish to stay in their communities can access quality health care and social services.”

“The PACE program has been extremely successful in providing health care and important support services to eligible Kansans,” Sen. Roberts said. “The state has embraced the program and is currently expanding it to more areas. I am proud to support this legislation which would give additional regulatory flexibility to allow PACE to serve more populations in need.”

“I have supported PACE programs since I was Governor of Virginia because they are great incubators for how we can better meet the needs of those with complex medical challenges,” Sen. Warner said. “As I continue to work with the Finance Committee’s bipartisan Chronic Care Working Group, I am focused on ensuring that healthcare providers collaborate to provide customized care for patients with chronic illness while simultaneously delivering financial savings to the system. PACE programs continue to provide great models for that effort.”

PACE provides comprehensive, fully integrated health care services to dually eligible individuals who require nursing home level care, but would like to remain in their homes. Programs like PACE are especially critical as Medicare moves from a fee-for-service system toward a prevention-based system that encourages health care providers to keep our country as healthy as possible. Due to state and federal administrative restrictions that are largely outdated, the expansion of PACE has been very slow. The PACE Innovation Act would alleviate many of these restrictions and help find ways to provide America’s seniors with higher-quality, more-efficient care.