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PACE Transportation

The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) initiative provides comprehensive and holistic care for older adults who still want to live in their home community.  

While this is an excellent way for these individuals to remain in their everyday environment and receive proper medical care, transportation can be a significant obstacle. How can they access the medical and social services they need without the hassle of spending too much time or money?  

This article explores how non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) solutions can help PACE participants overcome transportation barriers and improve their quality of life.

What is PACE? 

PACE is a comprehensive healthcare program designed for individuals who are 55 years old or older, primarily those who qualify for nursing home care but choose to live in their community. 

PACE aims to holistically meet their medical and social needs, allowing participants to age in place with dignity. 

An interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals creates and follows through on care plans tailored to individual needs, ensuring holistic care. 

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Who funds the PACE program? 

The government pays each participant a set amount of money to PACE providers every month. This set amount is supposed to cover all the services the participant needs.  

It’s a fixed payment, regardless of how much or how little care the participant uses. 

Some people in the PACE program have Medicare but don’t qualify for Medicaid because their income or assets are too high. These individuals must pay a monthly premium if they want to be part of PACE. This premium is the same amount that Medicaid would have paid for them if they were eligible.  

The idea here is that they contribute towards their care costs, but the payment is predictable and not based on the specific services they use. 

Normally, with Medicare or Medicaid, people might have to pay extra costs like deductibles (a fixed amount you pay for healthcare before your insurance starts to pay), coinsurance (a percentage of the cost of the healthcare services you have to pay), or other fees. But in PACE, once the monthly premium (for those not covered by Medicaid) or the capitation payment is made, there are no additional charges for the services received through the program. 

What are NEMT solutions, and how can they help PACE? 

One of the critical challenges for PACE participants is getting to and from medical appointments, PACE centers, and other activities.  

Reliable and accessible transportation is essential for them to benefit fully from the program’s offerings. However, many PACE participants face transportation barriers that make it difficult or costly for them to travel.  

For example, some of them may not have personal vehicles or public transit options available in their area. Others may have physical or cognitive limitations that prevent them from driving or using public transit safely. Some may find the transportation services that are available, such as taxis or ride-hailing apps, too expensive or unreliable.  

Some may need specialized vehicles or drivers that can accommodate their specific needs, such as wheelchair accessibility or medical assistance. These transportation barriers can have negative impacts on the health and well-being of PACE participants, such as missing or delaying medical appointments or treatments, reducing the frequency or quality of visits to PACE centers, increasing the risk of isolation, depression, or anxiety, and decreasing the satisfaction or retention of PACE participants.  

Therefore, it is crucial to find effective and efficient ways to address the transportation needs of PACE participants. This is where NEMT solutions can play a vital role. 

Looking for a more concrete solution? 

Brokers are individuals or organizations that help coordinate and schedule transportation services for PACE participants.  

They are responsible for finding and contracting with transportation providers, verifying their credentials, scheduling and dispatching trips, monitoring and tracking performance, handling payments, ensuring compliance with quality standards, and resolving any issues that may arise.  

But they face numerous challenges. These include managing multiple transportation providers with different rates, vehicles, drivers, and availability, balancing the supply and demand of transportation services, particularly during peak hours or emergencies, optimizing routes and schedules to minimize costs and delays, and communicating with transportation providers, PACE centers, and participants to ensure smooth and timely pick-ups and drop-offs.  

How Tobi Can Help 

Tobi is an innovative and user-friendly platform that helps brokers overcome these challenges by automating and simplifying the management of trips.  

Tobi’s advanced algorithms and real-time data help optimize routes and schedules to reduce delays. Brokers can communicate with transportation providers through Tobi’s messaging and notification system.  

Tobi also provides reporting and analysis tools to help brokers improve the quality and satisfaction of transportation services. Support and feedback system, and report and analyze the data and feedback of transportation services using Tobi’s dashboard and analytics tools.  

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