Sánchez recognized for role in key legislation, supporting the health needs of elderly community
BOSTON— On June 28th, PACE, the Massachusetts Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, honored Representative Sánchez with the Legislator of the Year award. PACE is a Medicare program that provides in-home or community-based medical and social services to the elderly to allow them to stay in their homes rather than move to nursing homes.
The award recognizes the support and stewardship of Representative Sánchez, House Chair for the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, in moving the Preserving Access to PACE Bill (H.966/S580, An Act to preserve eligibility for the PACE program and certain waivered services) through the Committee on Health Care Financing with a favorable report.
The bill would allow elders enrolled in PACE to remain in the program even if their income changes to put them slightly above the eligibility cutoff. Seniors in this situation would pay a small premium to stay in the program so that they are not forced into costly nursing home facilities and out of their communities.
In this way, the bill positively impacts older adults who prefer to stay in their homes rather than relocate, while reducing health care costs for the state and strains on nursing homes. It also ensures continuity of care for seniors whose income slightly increases, often from Social Security benefits after the death of a spouse.
“I am honored to receive the award from PACE,” said Sánchez. “The PACE program works because it combines healthcare with community, allowing seniors to form social connections—a vital ingredient in maintaining wellness among older adults.”
The award was presented to Representative Sánchez, at today’s PACE State House Day.
Representative Sánchez lauded the program that results in 20% shorter stays in nursing facilities and 43% fewer hospitalizations for enrollees. He also discussed the proposal to redesign MassHealth to address the social determinants of health and to reflect a more community-oriented approach to care.