CarePartners, a local nonprofit health organization and affiliate of Mission Health, has announced the opening of its PACE Center. CarePartners PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) is the first one in western North Carolina and will serve Buncombe and Henderson counties. PACE opened to participants in early March and is now accepting applications.
“CarePartners has been proud to serve Western North Carolina in the areas of rehabilitation, hospice, home health care, adult day services and more and are pleased to expand to be the PACE provider for Buncombe and Henderson counties,” said President and CEO Tracy Buchanan.
PACE is a Medicare and Medicaid option that provides community-based care and services to people age 55 or older who otherwise might need to move to a skilled nursing facility. PACE was created as a way to provide frail elders the ability to remain living in their homes for as long as possible,independently and safely. Nationally, there are 108 PACE programs in 32 states.
“There are ten PACE organizations in North Carolina and several have been operational for 3+ years. Growth of these programs is regulated by the State of North Carolina and demand for services has been high,” said Dave Beijer, PT, Executive Director of CarePartners PACE. “PACE is given flexibility and autonomy in determining the right care to provide to our participants at the right time with the right providers.”
To be eligible for PACE, one must be 55 or older; live in the PACE service area, be eligible for skilled nursing level of care; be safe at home at the time of enrollment with PACE services. PACE is at 286 Overlook Road in Asheville.
“We can provide outpatient clinic care (like you would receive at your own doctor’s office), labs, medication administration for those who need it, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, activities/social events, meals, dietician consultation, pharmacy consultation, and social work/care management,” said primary care provider and medical director Dr. Amy Cohen.
CarePartners PACE participants will receive all needed medical care and supportive services directed by an interdisciplinary team of clinicians and professionals.
“The PACE model is truly team-based care. We meet every morning (physician, nurses, social worker, dietician, transporters, Physical, Occupational and Recreational Therapists, program assistants, operations director) to discuss our participants. The participants benefit from a multidisciplinary approach (whole person approach) and the clinicians are able to collaborate in real-time to formulate individualized care plans for our participants,” said Dr. Cohen.
There can be only one PACE facility serving a designated geographic area and the state has designated Henderson and Buncombe counties to CarePartners. The newly built PACE center is 17,800 sq. ft. and houses a medical clinic, rehabilitation area, social activity area and will provide lunch and a snack. Participants may be transported by CarePartners from their homes to the PACE center. CarePartners PACE has created about 50 jobs and will care for about 200 elderly residents of both Henderson and Buncombe counties.
“This real-time collaboration creates coordination of care for patients who have in the past, been those that have received the most fragmented healthcare. It is refreshing to be able to help a patient, not by prescribing a drug or by making a referral to another doctor, but by walking the patient down the hall to receive a service that they need right then and there,” said Dr. Cohen.”