RELEASE: Legislation Expanding Senior Services Signed into Law - AB 1128 will Reduce Red Tape & Increase PACE Programs for Aging Californians
SACRAMENTO—Assembly Bill 1128, authored by Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris has been signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. This bill will expand access to the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) by consolidating the responsibility of licensure functions within the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).
“Seniors deserve to age in the comfort of their homes and communities, not in institutions,” commented Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach). “AB 1128 will facilitate the statewide growth of PACE programs, enabling thousands more seniors to access essential services that improve their independence and quality of life.”
PACE is a proven success story that serves eligible participants by providing all-inclusive Medicare and Medi-Cal covered benefits through PACE centers, while still allowing seniors to reside in their home. When compared to other models of care, PACE saves the state as much as $23 million. California only has 10,000 PACE slots for seniors and more than 100,000 seniors who qualify for the program. VIDEO from the Senate Health Committee hearing testimony.
Currently, both the Department of Public Health (DPH) and DHCS oversees licensing functions for PACE. Requiring dual approvals has delayed the rollout of new and expanding PACE programs, often by 18 months, but frequently taking two years or more. This complex and lengthy approval process for PACE providers was antithetical to a smooth and efficient government.
AB 1128 will become operative January 1, 2020 and will reduce the redundancy by removing duplicative regulation and create a more efficient licensure process through only one state department. This is a commonsense measure that will eliminate government redundancy and save the state money both by reducing administrative costs, and by providing care through PACE rather than less desirable and more costly programs.
AB 1128 is supported by AARP California, AltaMed, Alzheimer’s Los Angeles, Alzheimer’s San Diego, Association of Regional Care Agencies, Brandman Centers for Senior Care, California Alliance for Retired Americans, California Commission on Aging, California Collaborative for Long Term Services and Supports, California PACE Association, California School Employees Association, Center for Elder’s Independence, Congress of California Seniors, Disability Rights California, Eden Housing, Innovative Integrated Health Inc., LeadingAge California, On Lok Senior Health Services, San Ysidro Health, Saint Paul’s PACE and WelbeHealth.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
AARP, Nancy McPherson, California State Director: “On behalf of nearly 3.3 million members in California, AARP supports AB 1128 because it will help keep older Californians in their homes and communities and out of nursing homes by streamlining the licensing process for new or expanding Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) facilities. AB 1128 is an efficient use of taxpayer dollars, it removes redundancy and duplication, and allows new or expanding program operators to better coordinate with the Department of Health Care Services. The bill will facilitate program growth, increase access for eligible seniors, and will continue to save the state from paying higher costs associated with nursing home care.”
AltaMed, Dr. Marie S. Torres, Senior Vice President of Government Relations & Community Research Initiatives: “AltaMed is proud to support this bill which will help seniors maintain the quality of life they deserve while living in their own home. Specifically, the bill streamlines the licensing for new or expanding Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) facilities. Moving the PACE licensing function to DHCS will have the administration of PACE under one department. This will facilitate program growth and access while saving the state from paying higher costs associated with nursing home settings for the specific population of seniors that PACE programs serve. For 50 years, AltaMed has been dedicated to serving medically underserved, uninsured, and under-insured families and individuals in Southern California. Our services include a full continuum of care including pediatrics, complete primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, senior services with PACE programs, dental care, youth services, and HIV services.”
Alzheimer’s Los Angeles, Barbara McClendon, Public Policy Director: “Expanding access to PACE programs and their comprehensive, person-centered care model would be of great benefit to people living with Alzheimer's and their caregivers. For this reason, Alzheimer's Los Angeles supports AB 1128 and the streamlined approval process it would put in place for new or expanding PACE programs."
Association of Regional Center Agencies, Amy Westling, Executive Director: “PACE programs help seniors live in the community. AB 1128 helps let them focus on that work, while protecting the state’s ability to ensure quality.”
CalPACE, Peter Hansel, President: “CalPACE applauds the passage of AB 1128 by Assemblywoman Petri-Norris. PACE is a proven model of providing care to the frail elderly and allow them to live in the community. AB 1128 will ensure that PACE will continue to expand in a timely manner in California and serve more frail elderly Californians.”
Disability Rights California, Curtis Child, Legislative Director: “We are pleased that the Governor has signed AB 1128 and appreciate the commitment of Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris in helping to expand care for seniors and persons with disabilities in their homes and communities”
LeadingAge California, Jeannee Parker Martin, President and CEO: “The Program for all All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) organizations face a complex and lengthy approval process to start up new programs and to expand existing programs, and the current bifurcated process is inefficient and duplicative. AB 1128 will remedy the delays created by the current review process and encourage organizations to serve new communities that need the services that PACE provide
Turning Capital Impact, Dr. Leonard Fromer, President of Healthcare Initiatives: “Assembly Bill 1128 will benefit thousands of elderly Californians by accelerating and streamlining the growth of PACE programs that provide vital care within their communities. By improving access and cutting red tape, this common-sense measure will help ensure that our frail seniors receive the services they need.”