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Amid the Pandemic, Casey Introduces Bill to Expand Supportive Services to Help Low-Income Americans Remain in Their Homes

Roughly 14 Million Americans Have a Serious Health Problem That Requires Long-Term Services and Supports

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, introduced a bill to expand long-term services and supports to help medically complex, low-income seniors and people with disabilities age in their homes and communities. The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Plus Act would strengthen and expand access to the PACE program—an alternative model of care to traditional home and community-based services (HCBS). The PACE program, which has been around for more than 25 years, integrates Medicare coverage and Medicaid long-term services and supports that enable approximately 55,000 people across 30 states to remain in their homes, which is overwhelmingly where they prefer to live.

“With more than 800,000 people on waitlists to receive home and community-based services, we must do more to provide access to supportive services for those wishing to remain at home as they age,” said Chairman Casey. “I introduced the PACE Plus Act to strengthen the PACE program—which offers comprehensive care and wraparound services that result in people experiencing fewer hospitalizations and visits to the emergency room, as well as reduced caregiver burden. If we have learned anything from the pandemic, it is that people want options of where to receive their care and expanding the PACE program will make it easier for states to offer home-based services to people who have complex medical needs.”

“Our experience during the pandemic has highlighted the need for home and community-based long-term care options,” noted Shawn Bloom, president and CEO of the National PACE Association. “PACE has a long track record of success caring for individuals in their homes and communities even as their long-term needs change. We are thankful for Sen. Casey’s visionary leadership in introducing The PACE Plus Act, which will allow more individuals and families the choice to access PACE and receive long-term care in their homes in the future.”

The PACE Plus Act would:

• Increase the number of PACE programs nationally by making it easier for states to adopt PACE as a model of care and provide grants to organizations to start PACE
centers or expand existing PACE centers;

• Expand the number of seniors and people with disabilities eligible to receive PACE services by ensuring individuals with a high level of care need are eligible for PACE and incentivize states to grow their PACE programs; and

• Reduce the administrative burden on PACE programs through improved technical assistance and streamlined application processes.

Read about the PACE Plus Act here.