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Program for vulnerable older adults arrives in Kentucky

By Susan Dunlap

Frankfort, KY - In a continuing effort to promote the health and safety of Kentuckians, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the arrival of the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE, in Kentucky last week. The program is designed to provide quality long-term care for people age 55 and older that is cost-effective.

"This milestone is years in the making," the Governor said. "The implementation of this PACE in Kentucky expands health care services available to aging Kentuckians who would otherwise qualify for Medicaid nursing home placement. It provides them with an array of home and community-based services - where most people want to remain anyway - and at lesser costs than a nursing home."

Enrollees voluntarily take part in the program, a national model that also provides a comprehensive array of medical and social services to individuals who meet program criteria. Most are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid and would be candidates for long-term care.


"Now, more Kentuckians have access to programs and skilled services through certified PACE providers that will allow them to continue living in their homes and with the people they love," said Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander. "This is a tremendous step forward in how we deliver services and will help us provide a better quality of life and improved outcomes for Kentucky's aging population."

Program participants must meet specific criteria to qualify for program services including:
  • an age threshold of 55 years or older;
  • state certification of the facility to provide nursing home-level care;
  • ability to live safely in the community at the time of enrollment; and
  • residence in a PACE service area.
Utilizing PACE providers, individuals enrolled in the program will work with a team of health professionals to receive coordinated care, including primary care, physical therapy and social supports. They may receive other services, such as home health, that are provided under contract. For most participants, the comprehensive service package enables them to remain in their community rather than receive care in a nursing home.

"PACE is a highly innovative, person-centered service model that will have a tremendous impact on Kentucky's health care system and how we deliver services to the aging population," said Department for Medicaid Services Commissioner Lisa Lee. "Kentucky Medicaid is constantly focused on programs that help our members and improve quality and outcomes. Launching PACE is an example of the kind of work we are doing to help create a healthier state where everyone can thrive."

"Kentuckians thrive when they have a choice in their community supports. PACE will ensure Kentuckians and their family members have the support they need to live in a setting of their choice," said Department for Aging and Independent Living Commissioner Victoria Elridge. "The Department for Aging and Independent Living is excited to collaborate with Medicaid to provide opportunities for older adults and their family caregivers. Kentucky is one of the fastest aging states in the nation and PACE allows for increased inclusion in aging Kentuckians' communities."

At present, two providers - Bluegrass Care Navigators and Horizon PACE - have been certified through Kentucky's PACE program, serving members in Anderson, Barren, Clinton, Estill, Fayette, Franklin, Hancock, Jackson, Jessamine, Laurel, Madison, McClean, McCreary, Ohio, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Warren, Wayne and Woodford counties. The program is seeking more providers to expand the PACE service area.

"PACE is an amazing program that provides comprehensive health care services to the most vulnerable of Kentucky seniors and Horizon PACE is so excited to bring this dynamic program to our 11-county service area," said Kelly Upchurch, president and chief executive officer of Horizon-PACE.

"As an organization whose mission is focused on providing holistic, person-centered care to frail older adults, Bluegrass Care Navigators is honored to begin Kentucky's first PACE program," said CEO Liz Fowler. "The support offered by PACE enables both our participants and their caregivers to live life to the fullest."

If interested in becoming a PACE provider, please review the list of enrolled PACE providers, the list of counties in need of PACE providers , and the PACE provider FAQ for more information. Additional questions or comments regarding the PACE program may be submitted via email to: MedicaidPublicComment@ky.gov.


This story was posted on 2022-08-23 07:29:03
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