Elderly, Disabled to Get Medical Care Option

Elderly, Disabled to Get Medical Care Option

Chapters Health System is using a nationwide model to provide assistance.

By ROBIN WILLIAMS ADAMS, THE LEDGER

LAKELAND | Frail, older and chronically ill or disabled Polk County residents can expect a new option for coordinated medical care next year from the parent company of locally based Good Shepherd Hospice.

Chapters Health System is creating a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, following a model in use nationwide.

This is a Medicare/Medicaid funded program to coordinate and provide all needed health care for that high-risk group. At least 75 PACE organizations are operating nationally, in locations that include Florida’s Pinellas, Lee, Charlotte and Miami-Dade counties.

Preventive care, primary care, other medical care, hospitalization and, if necessary, long-term care are covered, although the goal is to keep these patients — who have medical conditions that qualify them for nursing homes — living in the community.

“This is very much prevention-based, focused on keeping people out of the hospital,” said Andy Lutton, chief operating officer of Chapters, formerly HPC Healthcare.

Florida lawmakers, after taking six years to allow PACE programs in Florida, are more responsive as they see its potential to reduce the cost of care by delaying or preventing nursing home admissions, said Samira K. Beckwith, president of Hope HealthCare Services and president of a Florida PACE Association.

For details please click on http://www.theledger.com/article/20110703/NEWS/110709822?Title=Elderly-Disabled-to-Get-Medical-Care-Option-