Senior CommUnity Care
- Need: Many older adults who have chronic diseases need additional assistance in order to remain independent in their homes.
- Intervention: A PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) provides wrap-around services to support adults 55 years or older living in the western rural counties of Delta and Montrose in Colorado.
- Results: Allows older people in western Colorado to maintain their independence in their own homes with a higher quality of life.
Western Colorado has seen a large growth in the population of older adults. These people want to maintain their independence in their homes for as long as possible. Senior CommUnity Care is a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) that began in 2008 and helps older adults stay independent, healthy, connected to friends and family, and living at home.
Senior CommUnity Care is a PACE provider and a new healthcare choice for older adults who want to live at home but need support. A Volunteers of America service, Senior CommUnity Care delivers all needed medical and supportive services covering the entire spectrum of care to older adults with chronic care needs. Program participants would likely have to live in nursing homes if Senior CommUnity Care were unavailable.
Senior CommUnity Care is open to people 55 or older who have been certified to meet nursing home eligibility requirements. If a person meets Medicaid guidelines, Medicaid will pay for part of the monthly PACE premium, with Medicare paying the remainder. If a person does not qualify for Medicaid, he/she is responsible for the portion Medicaid would have paid.
The Rural PACE Provider Grant Program, established under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 by Congress and administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), provided 15 providers, including Senior CommUnity Care, with start-up funds to develop PACE organizations serving rural elders.
Current funding sources for Senior CommUnity Care PACE are Medicare, Medicaid, and private pay.
Senior CommUnity Care provides for all healthcare and social needs of older adults in the program whether in their own homes, at one of two PACE Day Centers, or other locations in the community that match participants' needs. Services include:
- Medical and specialty care
- Medical equipment and supplies
- Prescription and over-the-counter drug coverage
- Nursing care, including at-home
- Transportation services
- Mental health services
- Meals at the day center
- Homemaker and personal care
- Home modifications
- Physical, occupational, and speech therapy
- Relief services for caregivers
- Dental care, including dentures
- Vision care, including glasses
- Hearing care (audiology and hearing aids)
- PACE Day Center with engaging activities
- Socialization and social supports
- Services such as lab work, X-rays, and surgery
- 24-hour access to on-call nurse
- Hospital stays
- Palliative and end-of-life care
As of January 2018, there are over 300 participants enrolled in Senior CommUnity Care PACE.
Most PACE programs are only able to use internal physicians – physicians who are a part of PACE. That is an especially challenging requirement for rural areas where there are a limited number of physicians. Many people have seen the same physician their entire lives and are reluctant to change. Because of this, Senior CommUnity Care applied for and was granted a waiver from CMS that allows them to use community physicians as well as PACE physicians.
Aging and aging-related services
Home and community-based services
January 26, 2015
Date updated or reviewed
January 22, 2018
Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.