Walorski Introduces Bill to Modernize Medicare Program That Helps Seniors Live at Home

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Walorski Introduces Bill to Modernize Medicare Program That Helps Seniors Live at Home

Bipartisan Legislation Requires CMS to Finalize Updated Regulations for PACE Health Care Program

WASHINGTON – U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) today introduced the Comprehensive Care for Seniors Act of 2019,  bipartisan legislation to speed up the modernization of Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), which allow seniors with complex care needs to continue living at home.

“Seniors facing health challenges should be able to get the health care and services they need while continuing to live at home,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “PACE programs allow seniors to live safely in their communities by providing fully-integrated services, resulting in longer lives, better health outcomes, and fewer hospital visits. When I visited Saint Joseph PACE in Mishawaka last year, I saw firsthand how these effective and innovative programs can change people’s lives for the better. However, PACE regulations are long overdue for an update, and I am committed to working across the aisle to ensure CMS finally modernizes these programs so more Hoosier seniors can live at home longer.”

“Elderly individuals and those living with disabilities in communities across the country greatly benefit from the PACE program and they deserve top-notch care in the comfort of their own home,” said Congressman Blumenauer. “PACE programs operate under regulations last updated in 2006. This legislation will force this administration to modernize this program and make it available to Americans in need.”

“Throughout its history PACE has benefited from strong champions in Congress like Rep. Blumenauer and Rep. Walorski,” said Shawn Bloom, President and CEO of the National PACE Association. “We applaud their leadership and thank them for reintroducing The Comprehensive Care for Seniors Act.  The lack of an updated rule hampers the ability of PACE programs to innovate and grow to meet the increasing number of seniors who want to live at home as long as possible as well as their family members.”

BACKGROUND

In September, Walorski visited Saint Joseph PACE, a comprehensive care center in Mishawaka, Ind., to meet with staff and participants, learn more about the services and care provided, and discuss the need to modernize PACE.

PACE provides Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries 55 years of age or older, who meet the criteria for a nursing home level of care but wish to live at home, with the entire spectrum of medical and long-term care services and support and addresses all other biopsychosocial needs. Multiple studies show that people receiving care from PACE organizations live longer, experience better health, have fewer hospitalizations, and spend more time living at home than those receiving care through other programs.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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