Senators: Widen Medicaid program for frail seniors

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than a dozen senators are calling on the Obama administration to broaden a Medicaid program for the nation's frailest seniors, calling it a proven alternative to pricier nursing home care.

In a letter released Thursday, the senators urged the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to loosen restrictions on the Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly. PACE is open to Medicaid-eligible seniors and people with disabilities who need nursing home care.

The program allows seniors to stay in their own homes and receive coordinated care from a team of doctors, nurses and social workers.

Late last year, CMS said it would propose changes to allow more flexibility in enrolling patients, but it has yet to do so. A spokesman for the agency said the review was continuing.