National PACE Association
- Project Title: Rural PACE®
- Program Representative Interviewed: Sam Kunjukunju, Director of Project Management
- Location: National
Program Overview: The Program
of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) model focuses on enabling older adults with chronic
health conditions and functional limitations to remain in their communities as they age by receiving
comprehensive and coordinated care. The model originated in the early 1970s in the Chinatown-North Beach
community of San Francisco, CA, to address the long-term care needs of older immigrants from China, Italy,
and the Philippines. In 1971, Dr. William L. Gee, a public health dentist, headed a committee that hired
Marie-Louise Ansak to investigate solutions to long-term care needs.The committee, along with other
community leaders, formed the nonprofit corporation On Lok Senior Health
Services to create a community-based system of care as an alternative to institutional-based
long-term care. In 1986, federal legislation extended financing to allow 10 additional demonstration
organizations to replicate the On Lok services model. By 1990, the model became known as PACE and was
permanently established as a recognized provider under the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Section 5302 of the
Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 authorized the rural
PACE program, which initially enrolled 15 providers across the country to develop PACE programs to
serve rural older adults aging in place. As of June 2017, PACE has been replicated and expanded to 122
organizations located in 31 states around the nation, with about 16% of PACE programs being rural.
PACE programs provide comprehensive preventive, acute, and long-term services and supports to individuals aged 55 or older, certified by their state to need a nursing home level of care, who can live safely in the community at the time of enrollment, and live in a PACE service area. Although all PACE participants must be certified to need a nursing home level of care to enroll in PACE, 95% of PACE participants live in a community setting rather than a nursing home.
You can read more about the PACE program in RHIhub's Rural Services Integration Toolkit.