Florida Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog


PACE Program May Avoid Nursing Home For Your Loved One

Grandmother and grandddaughter

Have you heard about PACE, the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly? Offering a variety of services, PACE can allow certain people to age at home and in the community, instead of  being admitted to a nursing home for care. Having one’s loved one enrolled in the PACE can program can relieve some of the burden on relatives and other caregivers. PACE has also been shown to reduce hospitalizations and emergency room visits.

About 50% of current PACE enrollees are diagnosed with some form of dementia. Established by the 1997 Balanced Budget Act, PACE is available in Palm Beach, Broward and Dade, and a few other Florida counties. Read one for more information about the program.

 

Who is Eligible?

The PACE program is appropriate for seniors who need extra help, but not for those who are completely bed-bound and require intense round-the-clock care. To qualify, an individual must:

  • Be age 55 or over.

 

  • Be enrolled in Medicaid, or Medicare and Medicaid. (You may need the help of an elder law attorney regarding Medicaid eligibility).

 

  • Need help with activities of daily living such as bathing, toileting, transferring from bed to chair, etc., as determined by Florida CARES (Comprehensive Assessment and Review For Long-Term Care Services program).

 

  • With the assistance of PACE services, be capable of living safely in the community.

 

  • Live within the service area of the particular PACE program in which he/she is enrolled.

 

PACE Services

The PACE program is essentially “one stop shopping.” Once a person is enrolled, it becomes the umbrella organization that handles all of the participant’s needs that would otherwise be provided through Medicare and Medicaid. The participant may not be enrolled in another program, for example, Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.

Applicants to the program are assessed by an interdisciplinary group of professionals such as doctors, social workers, rehabilitation specialists, nutritionists. In collaboration with the applicant and the applicant’s family, a comprehensive list of medical and non-medical services is recommended for the individual. Some services may be provided at home – for example, assistance with bathing. Other services are offered at the PACE center in the community. Note that not every PACE program offers all services. Services may include:

  • Meals and nutritional supervision

 

  • Prescription medications and medication management

 

  • Medical care from a primary care physician

 

  • Treatment by medical specialists

 

  • Meals and nutritional supervision

 

  • Transportation to doctors

 

  • Durable medical equipment

 

  • Adult day care

 

  • Homemaking assistance

 

  • Assistance with personal care

 

  • End of life care

 

  • Social programs

 

  • Dental care

 

  • Transportation to and from the PACE community center

 

Find PACE programs

 

To see all Florida’s PACE programs, click here   .

To check other states’ programs, click here

 

As noted above, PACE participants must be eligible for Medicaid. If you need help qualifying for Medicaid eligibility before you “spend down” entirely, contact our attorneys for assistance by calling (561) 625-1100.