President Obama Signs PACE Innovation Act into Law

New Law Allows for Faster Expansion and Authority to Serve New Populations

President Obama signed the PACE Innovation Act (PIA) into law last night. The new law will allow the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop pilot projects based on the successful PACE Model of Care.

president-obama“The President’s signature caps a more than two-year effort to provide opportunities for the PACE model to be used as a platform for innovation to serve more seniors as well as younger individuals in need of integrated care and services,” said Shawn Bloom, president and CEO of NPA. “We look forward to working with CMS to develop opportunities for PACE providers and others to develop new pilot programs that will take the lessons learned from PACE and apply them to new populations and more communities.”

The next step is for CMS to develop a process to accept, evaluate and measure proposed pilots based on the PACE model. Providers already have started to explore what changes in the model would be necessary to serve other populations that need consistent access to care and services.

“As we have worked with providers that serve younger individuals, such as those with developmental or physical disabilities, we have identified slight modifications to the PACE model that would be helpful,” Bloom said. “For example, the composition of the interdisciplinary team may need to be different, or the nature of activities at a PACE center might need to change to emphasize vocational training. The possibilities are very exciting.”

Sens. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ-4) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3) spearheaded the legislation in Congress. The Obama Administration also provided consistent support by including PACE pilot programs in its last two budget proposals and signing the legislation into law.