The motto on the conference room wall at Asheville’s CarePartners PACE Center says it all: We transform lives. The acronym stands for Program of All-inclusive Care for The Elderly, an innovative, patient-centered community care model that is dramatically enhancing quality of life for older adults in Buncombe and Henderson counties.
These elderly care patients have complex needs when it comes to accessing all-encompassing, well-coordinated and timely healthcare. They typically see multiple specialists, take an array of medications and need mental health services and social support, while personal preferences and economic circumstances fuel their desire to remain in their own homes.
Opened in 2015, Asheville’s PACE Center offers exceptional breadth of services: specialty care, home care, medical transportation services, emergency care, physical and recreational therapy, nutritional counseling, dentistry and more.
“It’s the best model of care I’ve seen”, said Christopher Patterson, MD, CMD, and PACE Medical Director. “PACE’s overarching goal is to keep participants in their homes, and its approach is interdisciplinary. Patients are often Medicare/Medicaid recipients, chronically ill and destined for nursing homes unless proper senior care interventions are made. Team members meet weekly to coordinate participants’ care, arrange medical transportation, create rehab plans and make social needs assessments.”
Every member of the care team has a role in caring for the participant while enrolled at PACE. “A transportation driver might notice if a patient doesn’t seem like themselves, and this helps us to identify and address a decline much more quickly than if the patient was in a nursing home,” said Dr. Patterson. “This results in less financial and utilization-related stress on the healthcare system.”
Due to PACE’s emphasis on care quality, positive outcomes are commonplace. “PACE’s emphasis on care quality, positive outcomes are commonplace. “PACE recognizes that patients are much more than their conditions,” said Dr. Patterson. “It’s definitely the future of medical care.”