Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) officials are planning to expand program services throughout Oregon.
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Jane-Ellen Weidanz—Medicaid Long-term Services and Supports Manager with the Department of Human Services’ Office of Aging & People with Disabilities—discussed PACE plans during a House Interim Committee on Human Services meeting on Thursday. PACE is available to people with Medicaid and Medicare coverage, and provides medical and social services to residents 55 and older living at home or in care settings like adult day centers and nursing homes.
PACE currently utilizes two providers, Weidanz said. Providence ElderPlace serves all of Multnomah and Clatsop counties, as well as parts of Washington, Tillamook, and Clackamas counties. It has 1,696 participants. AllCare PACE serves parts of Jackson and Josephine counties through a health center in Grants Pass. It has 49 participants. But PACE officials want to expand the program to cover every county.
“For the first time in all the years I’ve been involved with the PACE program, we have ended up hearing from multiple providers that they want to come into the PACE market, mostly in the mid-Willamette Valley area,” Weidanz said.
PACE is currently designing a competitive procurement process to develop a request for proposals (RFP) for providers interested in offering services in areas that are not already represented.
“We will be providing a list of available zip codes for providers that are interested,” Weidanz said.
Providers will select available areas they would like to service, and list services they plan to offer as part of the procurement application process. While reviewing applications, PACE will consider vendor criteria including service equity, expanded coverage areas (providers that will offer services in rural areas, and are not limited to serving people strictly in urban areas), and the ability to be operational within 365 days.
“We want every region of the state to be covered, but we want to make sure that we don’t set up competition that actually limits access to other Medicaid consumers,” Weidanz said. “We want one PACE organization per region.”
Rep. Anna Scharf (R-Amity) asked about the criteria that elevates an applicant’s score when they are able to serve rural areas, and whether Providence and AllCare would service rural areas. Weidanz said Providence and AllCare have already added rural areas to their service offerings.
“We’ve never done an RFP for PACE before because we’ve never had competing proposals,” Weidanz said. “If we’re going to have competing proposals, looking to serve more people in a broader service area was a key component for us.”
Weidanz gave an example of a scenario that would boost an applicant’s score.
“If Providence Elderplace wanted to pick up the Salem area, we would be scoring them higher if they also picked up Ohmsville, Jefferson, and West Salem,” she said. “We’re pushing expansion beyond just the urban centers. We’re not asking providers to go beyond what they think is financially viable because we don’t want to set up a provider to fail. That would be horrendous for the consumers and the organization.”
PACE is expected to send RFPs out this summer, Weidanz said.