What Is PACE?

Older woman stretching.

Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) serves Medicaid and Medicare participants with comprehensive, long-term services and support. For most participants, PACE allows them to live and receive care in their community rather than at a residential facility for as long as possible.

PACE programs offer access to the entire continuum of healthcare services, including:

  • Preventive care
  • Primary and specialty care
  • Emergency and inpatient care coordination
  • Long-term care
  • End of life care
  • Transportation
  • At-home services

The PACE model

The PACE model of care allows states to provide services to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. To qualify, participants:

  • Must be 55 or older
  • Live in specified service areas
  • Meet nursing home eligibility per state requirements
  • Live safely in the community at the time of enrollment

According to the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which established PACE under Medicare and Medicaid, organizations can apply to become PACE providers through a three-way agreement between PACE, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and State Administering Agencies (SAAs). Financing for the program is capped, which allows providers to deliver participants all necessary services. Medicare rates are adjusted for demographic and diagnostic characteristics; Medicaid rates vary by state.

95% of PACE participants continue to live in their communities1

Why it works

PACE organizations fully integrate all Medicare and Medicaid services into one package to provide services to participants as they need them and not according to fee-for-service schedules, leading to better outcomes and lower healthcare costs. Interdisciplinary teams provide and coordinate all care for the individual, so PACE participants experience fewer emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and nursing home admissions. They also enjoy a higher quality of life while staying in their homes and communities.

Looking to start a PACE program?

Our experienced team can help your organization determine the feasibility of a PACE program, including state compatibility, and guide you through the PACE application and development process. We help you consider capital, break-even, and development time frame and complexity.

adult hand holding a child's hand.

History

As a concept, PACE began in 1973 in San Francisco, California. Since then, it has grown into a permanent Medicare- and Medicaid-funded state-optional program, serving 55,000+ participants in 30 states.

PACE through the years2

1973
1990
1996
1997
1999
2006
2014
2015
2019
2022

1973

The first PACE center, On Lok, is founded in San Francisco

1990

PACE centers receive Medicare and Medicaid waivers to operate

1996

21 centers operate in 15 states

1997

The Balance Budget Act establishes PACE as a permanent provider

1999

  • 30 centers in 19 states
  • Interim PACE regulation

2006

  • 42 centers in 22 states
  • Final PACE regulation

2014

107 centers in 32 states

2015

PACE provider status expands to for-profit organizations

2019

  • 126 centers in 31 states
  • New PACE regulations effective

2022

144 centers in 30 states


Celebrating National PACE Association’s 20th Anniversary


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