Home-Focused PACE Model Continues To Gain Traction Across US

A Georgia House Bill that would create a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) was passed by the state senate earlier this month. House Bill 1078 passed in a 49 to 1 senate vote.

Specifically, the bill creates a new adult day center licensure exclusion in order to authorize the Department of Community Health to establish and implement PACE in Georgia as part of the state’s medical assistance program. The Department of Community Health would manage the program.

“When Gov. Kemp signs this legislation, Georgia will become the next state in the country to recognize the value that PACE brings to our elderly community by allowing them to live in their own homes, fully cared for, without needing to move into a nursing home,” Shawn Bloom, president and CEO of the National PACE Association, told Home Health Care News. “PACE is on a path of rapid expansion and growth as more and more states and communities recognize the benefits of this model of care. PACE now serves more than 72,000 people and we expect many more over the coming decade as barriers to access are lifted.”


Access to PACE services have been proven to be effective at keeping seniors healthy, and allowing them to remain in their communities.

“Embedded in this model is that the PACE program also addresses the social determinants of health for the enrollees and wraps around this care with a very comprehensive interdisciplinary care team,” Jade Gong, founder and principal of consulting firm Jade Gong & Associates, previously told HHCN.

During the height of the pandemic, The national PACE COVID-19 death rate was 3.8%, compared to 11.8% in nursing homes. WelbeHealth — a Menlo Park, California-based PACE organization — was even able to achieve a COVID-19 death rate of 2.4%.


“There’s a 24% lower hospitalization rate amongst PACE members compared to dually eligible beneficiaries who receive their care in nursing homes,” Dr. Michael Le, CMO at WelbeHealth, previously told HHCN. “People receiving care through PACE programs are also less likely to be readmitted to the hospital or suffer emergency room visits. All of this significantly reduces the likelihood of being admitted to a nursing home and all the complications that arise from being in a health care setting unnecessarily.”

Despite this, adoption of the PACE model across the country has been stunted.

Some of the reasons for this are the federal red tape that PACE operators face, as well as the high costs associated with setting up shop.

Currently, there are only 159 PACE organizations operating in 32 states and the District of Columbia.

Now, House Bill 1078 is awaiting review from Gov. Brian Kemp.

If signed by the governor, the Department of Community Health will submit a proposal to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding reimbursement rates for providers. Following its approval, the department will issue out bids and contracts to providers in order to create PACE centers.

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