The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 888 late Tuesday to create the Program of All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE). Sen. Kim David said the bill will provide comprehensive health care to elderly Oklahomans and help them stay in their homes longer.
“This legislation will ensure that our senior citizens that live in a PACE area are referred to the program by the Department of Human Services prior to enrolling in any Long-Term Supports and Services (LTSS) programming,” said David, R-Porter. “This currently isn’t an option but we want to make sure that our seniors know that this all-inclusive care program is available to them.”
Under SB 888, seniors within a PACE area enrolled in an LTSS program before November 1, 2019, will be referred to a PACE program. PACE is a Medicare and Medicaid program that helps meet people’s health care needs in their homes, community or local PACE center rather than going to nursing homes or other care facilities.
To be eligible for PACE, an individual must be 55 or older, live in the service area of a PACE organization, need a nursing home-level of care (as certified by the state) and be able to live safely in the community with help from PACE.
PACE provides all the services and care covered by Medicare and Medicaid if authorized by the individual’s health care team. Services include, among others, adult day primary care (including doctor and recreation therapy nursing services), dentistry, emergency services, home and hospital care, meals, physical therapy, social services and transportation.
The bill will also create a task force comprised of 18 members to review the current LTSS assessment and evaluation process.
SB 888 now goes to the House for consideration.