A Message from the CEO: A State Budget to Celebrate
Most seniors lack the resources needed to age independently at home but this year’s state budget does more to help them than any other!

Polling shows this kind of leadership is precisely what nearly 90 percent of Californians want, and CalPACE is pleased to see the budget include the following PACE priorities:
    Older adults and people with disabilities will no longer face the Medi-Cal Asset Test
    Cuts to In-Home Supportive Services Program hours made during the Great Recession were finally restored
    A 2009 cut to SSI/SSP benefits was partially restored, and
    $100 million in increased funding for Department of Aging programs will support older adults and caregivers impacted by COVID-19, resources for Alzheimer’s Disease prevention and preparedness, and workforce needs.
Altogether, more than 40 items in this budget show a commitment to addressing long-standing challenges that impact older adults, people with disabilities, and those who care for them. These needed investments will really kickstart implementation of the Master Plan for Aging, demonstrating the impact of our continued engagement. A comprehensive breakdown of these investments is available here.
Now, the great work begins - helping the people these funds are intended to benefit.
Peter Hansel
Chief Executive Officer, CalPACE
State Advocacy Priorities in Focus
The California State Legislature reconvened on August 16th to conclude its business for the year. CalPACE is closely monitoring the following priorities critical to PACE.

We are pushing CalPACE’s sponsored bills through the State Legislature. Both bills have received unanimous, bipartisan support throughout legislative review to date.
    AB 523 by Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D-West Toluca Lake) codifies into standard practices the temporary regulatory flexibility granted to PACE providers during COVID-19. This will broaden and streamline enrollment processes while enabling PACE to use telehealth and provide more home-based services. This bill reflects the reality that PACE has evolved and improved during the pandemic. We need this bill to ensure the best and safest care for our participants moving forward. 
    AB 540 by Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) expands PACE awareness by ensuring that it is presented as a health plan choice in all Medi-Cal enrollment and outreach materials for all 55+ dual eligibles, seniors, and persons with disabilities.
For updates on these and other advocacy issues, please follow CalPACE on Twitter and/or Facebook.
PACE Reopens Across California
PACE facilities have resumed operations since the state began reopening on June 15. CalPACE is proud to report that the diligent work and precautions undertaken by California’s PACE providers throughout the pandemic have contributed to low COVID-19 case numbers.
The use of telehealth technologies and moving care from PACE centers to participants’ homes has been life saving. Despite serving a high risk, nursing home eligible population over the last 15 months, just 16.43 percent of PACE participants have contracted the virus, compared with 66.47 percent at nursing homes. Furthermore, between June 7 and July 5, there were just 8 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among more than 13,000 PACE participants.
This hard work made the reopening of PACE centers possible and it’s being recognized. Judy Huggins, 68, expressed her joy during the May reopening of the Gary and Mary West Adult Day Health Center, in San Marcos.
 “It is such a godsend, and it’s not just the place — this is where we’re active, where we’re appreciated as people, and it stimulates us,” she said. “It has made me stronger in my faith, and for the first time in my life, I’m able to say I’m happy.”
Judy’s sentiments cut to the heart of why each of us is passionate about PACE.
Key Federal Issues Impacting PACE: The PACE Plus Act
CalPACE is working closely with the National PACE Association (NPA) to mobilize support among California’s Congressional delegation for the PACE Plus Act.

A significant barrier to PACE expansion nationally is the high cost of entry for new operators. The PACE application process can also be a roadblock, which requires states to develop a rate-setting methodology for anyone who’s a Medicaid eligible PACE enrollee. States must also agree to take on certain oversight responsibilities.
Senator Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania), Chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, has authored the PACE Plus Act aiming to overcome these obstacles through:
    Increasing the number of PACE programs nationally by making it easier for states to adopt PACE as a model of care
    Providing grants to organizations to start PACE centers or expand existing PACE centers
    Expanding the number of seniors and people with disabilities eligible to receive PACE services by ensuring individuals with a high-level of care need are eligible for PACE
    Providing PACE growth incentives for states, and
    Reducing the administrative burden on PACE programs through improved technical assistance and streamlined application processes.
This legislation would transform PACE. CalPACE and NPA have been meeting with members of California’s Congressional delegation to urge their support and to encourage them to join a growing list of co-sponsors.
New PACE Facilities Open in California
We welcome two new PACE facilities to California’s PACE community.
Neighborhood Healthcare opened a new Riverside PACE center. The 19,000 square foot facility will offer primary and specialist care, transportation to the PACE center and other medical appointments, assistance at home with daily activities, social activities, medication management, rehabilitation therapy, and meal planning and preparation.
AltaMed Health Services opened its Santa Ana PACE facility, continuing its growth this year in Orange County after opening a location in Anaheim. The two new large facilities offer comprehensive health services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social services, recreational activities, meals, transportation, and an onsite pharmacy.
CalOptima and Orange County hosted their final Vaccine Clinic and Resource Fair targeting low-income, hard-to-reach members on July 10th at the CalOptima office in Orange. At the event, 495 individuals were vaccinated, bringing the six-event total to 5,073 vaccines delivered from May 15–July 10.
The Center for Elders' Independence PACE facility in San Leandro was featured in the Spring 2021 issue of Environments for Aging magazine - see pages 48-49. Designed by Kava Massih Architects, it is so nice to see the great spaces PACE creates for participants featured nationally like this!
In honor of its 25th Anniversary, AltaMed has hosted a series of free food pantry events for seniors and caregivers - ten so far! They have distributed grocery kits at multiple PACE locations across Los Angeles where walk up guests have been encouraged to bring a foldable cart with wheels to transport the groceries they receive.
Last year during the start of the pandemic, doctors and nurses at St. Paul’s PACE came up with the idea of a “Roving Clinic” that could serve seniors at home rather than having seniors come into PACE centers for medical care. This has proven to be a great tool for meeting care needs while reducing the risk of COVID-19 exposure. The roving clinic was so successful that St. Paul’s PACE raised funds to design a fully-equipped roving clinic, complete with a restroom on board, an exam room, a wheelchair lift and a lot of diagnostic equipment. St. Paul’s got their Roving Clinic 2.0 last month, enabling them to safely care for more seniors at home!
About CalPACE
CalPACE, the California PACE Association, is a 501(c)(6) association that is dedicated to the expansion of comprehensive health care services to seniors with chronic care needs through the Program of All-inclusive Care for Elderly (PACE). Through education and advocacy, CalPACE members strive to support, maintain, and safeguard the PACE model and promote high-quality comprehensive health care services to California's seniors. 
CalPACE represents twenty-two operational PACE organizations in California. Our members and allied organizations provide and coordinate services to more than 13,000 participants through 65 PACE Centers and Alternative Care Settings in 22 counties.