06.02.21 OP-ED: This is the moment to reform senior care

Excerpted from CalMatters

By Cheryl Wilson

Seniors want care choices and services keeping them in their homes and policymakers are waking up to that fact. The Program for All-Inclusive Care — a California creation — accomplishes this by combining medical and home care, transportation, and other services. 

The state Assembly is set to vote on legislation dictating whether more seniors can access PACE. We must seize the moment to ensure more seniors receive the care they need to age with dignity and independence in their communities

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PACE is an underutilized resource that could save the state billions in care costs if we unleash its potential. In California, PACE is 40 percent less expensive than nursing home care, saving taxpayers $131 million this year. Unfortunately, most people who could benefit from PACE don’t know it exists. 

Now lawmakers must pass Assembly Bill 540, carried by Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, a Democrat from Laguna Beach. This bill would require the state to include information about PACE in Medi-Cal enrollment forms and outreach programs to people who may be eligible.