Reps. Blumenauer & Smith’s PACE Innovation Act Passes House, Headed to the President’s Desk

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 1362, the PACE Innovation Act, authored by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Chris Smith (R-NJ), to expand the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) to serve individuals with disabilities an integrated, community-based model of care that supports their independence and enhances their quality of life. The bill was passed unanimously by the Senate before the August recess and will now head to the President’s desk for his signature.

PACE is a comprehensive, provider-based health plan with a proven track record of high-quality care for people with chronic illnesses and functional disabilities. In Oregon, the PACE program serves over 1,000 individuals in Multnomah, Washington, and Clatsop counties. Current eligibility requirements restrict PACE access to individuals who are 55 or older and require a nursing home level of care. The PACE Innovation Act will allow CMS to test the PACE model with new populations such as younger people with disabilities, individuals at-risk for needing nursing home care, and others. 

“PACE is centered on the belief that it is better for individuals and their families to receive both medical care and long-term social services and supports in the home and community whenever possible,” said Representative Blumenauer. “Providing both existing and new programs with the flexibility to expand will allow more people to maintain their dignity and autonomy and support families during challenging times.”   

“The PACE Innovation Act will provide the federally supported PACE organizations with much needed flexibility to bring the benefits of coordinated medical and long term services to more seniors who seek to live independently in the setting of their choosing,” said Representative Smith. “PACE has a proven track record of success in New Jersey and around the country and our legislation will enable more seniors to receive the all-inclusive care they need.”

“The PACE community is grateful for Representative Blumenauer's leadership in passing the PACE Innovation Act," said Shawn Bloom, president and CEO of the National PACE Association. “This legislation is a milestone in the history of the PACE model of care. It will enable providers to build on the proven success of PACE to serve younger individuals in need of care and services to provide them with the highest quality of life possible.”

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