House bill would expand program to keep younger people out of nursing homes

Share this article:

People younger than 55 would become eligible for a program to prevent unnecessary nursing home admissions if lawmakers pass a bill introduced Thursday in the U.S. House of Representatives.

These younger people currently are not allowed to participate in the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), noted bill sponsor Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). The program, which now is running in 31 states, has been a “huge success,” Blumenauer said. The bill that he introduced with Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) would bring younger people “into the fold” in a budget-neutral manner, he said.

PACE is designed for individuals who need a nursing home level of care. But instead of institutional care, it puts in place a healthcare team to enable participants to live in home- or community-based settings whenever possible. PACE is run through private health plans that receive capitated payments from the government. They are charged with providing coordinated care for people who otherwise would be billing Medicare and/or Medicaid for less integrated services. 

The “Pace Pilot Act” (HR 4543) also would eliminate the nursing home level of care requirement. This would widen access to preventative services and treatments for the “frailest members of our society,” Smith said. 

Studies have shown that PACE participants have fewer hospitalizations and nursing home admissions, the bill's sponsors noted.

Share this article:

More in News

Long-term care continues to lead in deal volume and value: PwC report

Long-term care continues to lead in deal volume ...

Long-term care bucked healthcare industry trends with strong merger and acquisition activity in the second quarter of 2014, according to newly released data from professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Empowering nurse practitioners could reduce hospitalizations from SNFs, study finds

Granting more authority to nurse practitioners is associated with reduced hospitalization of skilled nursing facility residents, according to recently published findings.

Pioneer ACO drops out of program, despite reductions in skilled nursing utilization

A California healthcare system has become the latest dropout from the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization program, despite reducing skilled nursing facility utilization and improving its readmission rates. Sharp HealthCare announced its decision in a quarterly financial statement released Tuesday.