Thursday, September 28, 2006

National PACE Association Applauds $7.5 Million in Grants to Expand PACE to Rural Areas

To: National Desk, Health Reporter

Contact: Robert Greenwood of the National PACE
Association, 703-535-1522, RobertG@NPAOnline.org

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The National
PACE Association (NPA) applauds Congress and the
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for
creating new opportunities to develop innovative,
provider-based integrated models of care in rural
communities to better serve the growing number of
older Americans with long term care needs. Originally
passed by Congress as part of the Deficit Reduction
Act of 2005, CMS announced $7.5 million in competitive
grants today to 15 rural health care provider
organizations to support development of Programs of
All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) across rural
America.

"The National PACE Association looks forward to
working with this forward thinking group of rural
health care providers as they utilize the PACE model
to develop innovative approaches to delivering a fully
integrated and comprehensive set of services outside
of the traditional institutional setting," said Shawn
Bloom, president and CEO of the National PACE
Association.

"By supporting the expansion of these programs for
beneficiaries who live in rural areas, we expect to
see comprehensive service delivery models evolve that
will work well in rural communities, said CMS
Administrator Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D.

PACE organizations are provider-based programs that
serve adults 55 and older who need nursing home care.
PACE programs use an interdisciplinary team approach
to integrate, deliver and coordinate all the care and
services that PACE enrollees need. Because of the
complex issues of caring for older individuals with
multiple diagnoses in community settings, the
flexibility and creativity provided by the PACE model
of care is key to successfully maintaining frail older
adults in the community for as long as possible.

"This announcement is an important milestone in the
continuing efforts to bring the benefits of PACE to
rural America," Bloom said. "In 2002 NPA began this
process by co-hosting a Rural PACE Summit with the
National Rural Health Association in Roanoke, Va.
Since that initial meeting, through the support of
Department of Health and Human Services we have
provided technical assistance to over 22 rural health
care providers to explore how they could utilize the
PACE model of care to keep our seniors in the
community for as long as possible."

NPA is grateful to the Congressional sponsors that
made these grants possible: Sen. Blanche Lincoln
(Ark.) and Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.), and cosponsors,
Sen. James Jeffords (Vt.), Sen. Byron Dorgan (N.D.)
and Sen. Kent Conrad (N.D.). Equally, NPA is thankful
for the critical support of Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah)
and Senator Grassley (Iowa) as they worked to develop
the Deficit Reduction Act of 1995 and include
provisions for the rural PACE Grant Program in the
bill.

The new Rural PACE Provider Grant Program will provide
each of the 15 grantees with $500,000 to support the
development of a rural PACE program for some of the
most vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries within thirteen
states across the country. CMS awarded all of the
possible funds and the maximum number of grants
available to expand patient-based care to a greater
number of people with Medicare and Medicaid who live
in rural areas.

Awardees include:

State --------- City ------------ Awardee

Ark. ---------- Jonesboro --------AllCare of Arkansas

Colo. ------- Grand Junction/Montrose -- Volunteers of
America

Hawaii ------- Kahului ----------- Hale Makua Iowa
-------- Sioux City ------- Hospice of Siouxland

Mont. ------- Billings --------- Billings Clinic
Foundation

N.Y. -------- Olean ------ Community Care of Western
New York N.C.---------- Carrboro ------ Piedmont
Health Services

N.D. -------- Bismarck ---- Northland Healthcare
Alliance

Pa. --------- Danville --- Geisinger Health System
Foundation

Pa. --- Chambersburg -- Lutheran Social Services of
South Central Pa.

S.C. ------ Orangeburg --- The Methodist Oak

Vt. ------- Rutland ------ PACE Vermont

Va. ----- Cedar Bluff --Appalachian Agency for Senior
Citizens

Va. ------ Big Stone Gap --- Mountain Empire Older
Citizens

W.V. ------- Charleston ------ CAMC Health Ed and
Research

"From our past work with these rural providers we know
that they are an innovative group, adept at maximizing
the resources they have to deliver the best care
possible," Bloom said. "I am confident that the
resources provided by this grant and the flexibility
provided through the PACE model of care we will see
many exciting new approaches to delivering care and
services outside of institutional settings to rural
older Americans with long term care needs."

----

The National PACE Association works to advance the
efforts of Programs of All-inclusive Care for the
Elderly (PACE) to support, maintain, safeguard and
promote the provision of quality, comprehensive and
cost-effective health care services for frail older
adults. More information on NPA and PACE is available
at http://www.npaonline.org.

http://www.usnewswire.com/

-0-

/© 2006 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/

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