Mcknights Home Care – PACE expansion bill draws bipartisan support

A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation that would improve care coordination for dual-eligible beneficiaries and expand the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly to a larger share of people.

“This legislation is a start at redesigning our current patchwork approach of delivering long-term services and supports,” Katie Smith Sloan, president and chief executive officer of LeadingAge, said in a statement Thursday. “This is a true win.”

Sens. Bill Cassidy, MD, (R-LA), Tom Carper (D-DE), John Cornyn (R-TX), Mark Warner (D-VA), Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the Delivering United Access to Lifesaving Services (DUALS) Act of 2024 on Thursday. Already, organizations including LeadingAge, the National PACE Association, Welbe Health and more than a dozen others have announced their endorsement for the bill.

The legislation’s primary function would be to require every state to develop a comprehensive, integrated health plan for dual-eligible beneficiaries, according to a summary. The bill also would require every state to allow PACE programs to be established, open up enrollment to any time in a given month, and extend PACE coverage to people under 55 years of age. 

PACE centers serve mostly dual-eligible beneficiaries who qualify for skilled nursing care but are able to remain at home and in their community, a representative for WelbeHealth, a PACE provider, said in a statement to McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse

“The DUALS Act marks a crucial stride forward in expanding access to care coordination for frail dual eligible beneficiaries through an innovative model called PACE,” Amy Shin, WelbeHealth’s chief mission officer, said. “This bill is thoughtful and represents a significant opportunity to enhance access to the gold standard for quality of care for our most frail and vulnerable seniors.”

Dual-eligible individuals, who qualify for Medicare and Medicaid, are responsible for a disproportionate share of government healthcare spending, according to the senators. Innovative, cost-effective care strategies can create payment efficiencies while also producing better patient outcomes, they said.

“Patients dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid have much worse outcomes than other groups even though there is a lot more money spent on their care,” Cassidy said in a statement. “Making Medicare and Medicaid better work together makes patients healthier and saves money.”

View the original article

WelbeHealth Opens Bay Area PACE Center

New center extends WelbeHealth’s collaboration with Sutter Health to underserved communities in San Jose and surrounding areas

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

SAN JOSE, California—The physician-led senior health services provider WelbeHealth, in partnership with Northern California-based health care system Sutter Health, announced the opening of a new Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) center in San Jose. The new center will provide essential health care and wrap-around services to diverse low-income older adults. WelbeHealth San Jose is now enrolling new participants, with services set to begin Jan. 1, 2024.

“We are excited to work with our Sutter Health partners to serve the most vulnerable seniors with better quality and compassion in the San Jose area,” said Si France, MD, CEO at WelbeHealth. “Through this expansion, we are ensuring that matriarchs and patriarchs can age in place and thrive in their communities.”

Sutter Health is one of the largest health systems serving Northern California’s Medi-Cal eligible population and has partnered with WelbeHealth to improve healthcare for underserved seniors.

“WelbeHealth provides nursing-home eligible seniors with the wrap-around services they need to remain safely at home in our communities,” said Kevin Cook, Greater Silicon Valley Market President at Sutter Health. “San Jose is home to a rapidly growing aging population that will benefit from greater access to PACE.”

More than 4,000 PACE-eligible seniors reside within 15 miles of the San Jose location, and the population of these seniors is anticipated to increase. The California Department of Aging forecasts that Santa Clara County’s senior population will surge by more than 200% by 2060, while Alameda County’s senior population is expected to increase by 150% by the same year.

“Many seniors in San Jose have been left out of the region’s broader economic growth,” said Vaneesh Soni, MD, Chief Growth Officer at WelbeHealth. “It’s difficult for low-income older adults to make ends meet and get the care they need amidst high rent, home care labor shortages and stretched family caregivers. WelbeHealth and Sutter Health are committed to delivering the PACE model, ensuring vulnerable seniors are not left behind.”

PACE is a proven, high-quality, cost-effective solution to address the care gaps left by the underfunded and patchwork system for long-term care in San Jose and across the United States by delivering comprehensive health and supportive services for seniors. The price for long-term care is expected to reach half a trillion dollars a year by 2030, yet the current infrastructure cannot support this growth and the United States lags behind most other wealthy countries in long-term care investment. PACE is one obvious solution because it delivers better health outcomes at a lower cost.

WelbeHealth is committed to addressing the long-term healthcare crisis for low-income seniors through PACE expansion. In addition to San Jose, WelbeHealth operates programs across California, including Modesto, Stockton, Fresno, Pasadena, Long Beach, North Hollywood and Rosemead. All locations deliver fully integrated care, allowing frail seniors to age in place with the support of interdisciplinary teams, including doctors and nurses, physical therapists, homecare aides and social workers. Wrap-around support like meals, social activities and transportation address social determinants of health.

View the original article here

CBS Los Angeles | Healthcare services for aging veterans

ETTV America takes you through WelbeHealth’s New Center in Rosemead

Setting the PACE: Pasadena program is blazing a trail for senior care

Gone are the days when seniors had no foreseeable future outside of nursing home walls. Elderly patients no longer have to choose between their health care needs and the comfort of their home.

WelbeHealth in Pasadena is creating a new picture of what senior living can look like through a unique care alternative called Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE.

PACE has been implemented in medical programs throughout California and seeks to give seniors the freedom to live their life on their terms.

It provides a care plan that works with participants both at home and in their centers at an affordable rate. Most importantly, it allows for flexibility, offering at-home services, recreational and socialization services, and medical services all under the same plan.

“The challenge of lonely, isolated seniors with very, very complex needs is the most paramount health care challenge in the United States,” said Dr. Matt Patterson, president of WelbeHealth.

The PACE program model recognizes this issue and aims to connect participants with others who might be facing similar challenges.

At WelbeHealth, the solution is quite simple. Each participant in the program can live at home while spending two to three days a week of their choosing at the facility. They receive transportation to and from the center. This allows them to make time for loved ones and other household priorities.

“Being able to stay in their home, it’s psychological that they feel much more empowered and independent,” said Dr. Michael Le, chief medical officer at WelbeHealth. “I mean, that’s closer to their families and loved ones who are their support networks.”

During the days when they don’t go into the facility, nurses are available to make home visits and participants still have access to transportation.

On a typical day in the WelbeHealth facility, folks have the freedom to engage with a wide range of services. The Pasadena location holds karaoke, games and a number of other socialization-related activities. They also provide a medical spa, laundry facilities and a gym where physical therapy can be completed during a participant’s visit. Being able to get all-around medical care without even having to leave the facility is one of WelbeHealth’s biggest perks.

“What’s unique is that we’re a physician-led organization. As odd as that sounds, it’s still unusual in a lot of health care organizations. We’re all doctors. Our CEO is a physician,” Patterson said.

Because of its many perks, this program has become increasingly popular among Californians. However, it’s not easy to get approved to participate. Seniors must meet a few specific criteria, as Dr. Vaneesh Soni, chief growth officer at WelbeHealth, explained. They must be enrolled in or qualify for Medi Cal or Medicaid, or they can also have Medicare.

“Then they have to meet the level of care requirement, which means that they have to have clinical and or social determinants, factors that qualify them to receive these types of services,” he said. “And what that means is they have to be almost frail enough to be in a nursing home, or they have to be frail enough to qualify to be in a nursing home.”

The goal is to help the most vulnerable seniors receive top of the line care, and WelbeHealth wants to offer the PACE program to as many qualifying seniors as possible. They also recently opened two more locations in Rosemead and North Hollywood to provide care to underserved communities throughout the Los Angeles area.

“It’s the kind of health care that we’d all want for our loved ones as they age and become more frail,” Le said.

View the original article

CBS LA Morning Mix – WelbeHealth

KABC7 Eyewitness News – WelbeHealth North Hollywood Grand Opening

KCAL 9 News – WelbeHealth North Hollywood Grand Opening

KCAL 9 News – WelbeHealth North Hollywood Grand Opening