Collaboration Highlights the Promise of SD PACE- Vista to Help North County Seniors Live Independently at Home
San Diego, CA, March 19, 2022 – In just eight short years, one out of four San Diegans will be 60 years of age or older increasing the need for age-friendly resources that support both patients and caregivers. In response to this growing need, a unique partnership between four federally qualified community health centers has been developed to provide comprehensive and holistic care to north county seniors. This partnership is through the Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) program operated by San Diego PACE, a division of San Ysidro Health, and located at 1840 West Drive, Vista, CA 92083.
The goal of the partnership is to ensure frail seniors are able to age with dignity – getting the preventive, primary, acute and long-term care services they need to continue living within their communities instead of being placed in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. California is home to 23 distinct PACE programs serving nearly 15,000 seniors in 69 sites of care. San Diego PACE has four of those sites of care, with the newest in Vista.
Through this innovative community-based partnership, senior patients of TrueCare, Vista Community Clinic and Neighborhood Healthcare will also be able to participate in the PACE program by providing referrals to the program. This type of partnership is rare because it allows the patient to retain care with their trusted provider (at the health center), but also creates opportunities for the senior to receive the full complement of services provided by PACE – including home care, transportation, specialty care, personal care services and medications, all coordinated by one organization.
TrueCare, Vista Community Clinic, Neighborhood Healthcare and San Ysidro Health have established a partnership in which North County seniors and their caregivers will benefit from San Diego PACE – Vista. These community partners serve as pillars of their communities with a long-standing legacy of providing compassionate care to all throughout San Diego County. They will work together to coordinate care for seniors in PACE; a system already known to be more cost effective than institutional care and one that saved California taxpayers $131M in 2021. But this partnership is about more than saving money. It’s centered on the belief that it is better for the well-being of seniors with chronic care needs and their families to be served in the community whenever possible. It’s better to keep families together. It’s better to age with dignity.
TrueCare President and CEO Michelle D. Gonzalez says, “We know North County families want options when addressing the needs of their aging loved ones. Our partnership with San Diego PACE augments the hard work of our providers by maintaining continuity of care and offering an innovative way for our older adult patients to live independently.”
“Quality, value-based care continues to be a top priority for HCP members,” said Lori N. Holeman, HCP board chair and Chief Executive Officer, Community Health Systems, Inc. “Both the awards and financial investment will allow us to further strengthen our offerings to patients in safety-net populations, closing quality gaps and raising care standards to enhance patient outcomes.”
“We look forward to this continued collaboration and working towards our shared goal of providing quality healthcare services to senior patients,” Fernando Sañudo, CEO of Vista Community Clinic. “Together we can achieve more positive patient outcomes for seniors within our community.
“Quality, compassionate, whole-care community health is about more than just vaccines and checkups. It’s about giving people the resources they need to live their best lives,” said Rakesh Patel, MD, CEO of Neighborhood Healthcare. “Caring for seniors in this manner means providing the resources to do so in a comprehensive way that empowers these individuals to thrive in their community regardless of circumstances. We’re excited to join this partnership for this important purpose.”
“We are thrilled to be partnering with organizations that are working daily to meet the growing and complex healthcare needs of our aging community in North County.” said Kevin Mattson, president and CEO of San Ysidro Health. “Collectively, we’re going to ensure our aging communities have access to the care they deserve to thrive”.
The past two years were disruptive and challenging for many, but the PACE model of care demonstrated its value as a flexible system that could adapt to serve the needs of individual participants. As the state and county look at long-term care in a new light and searches for nursing homes alternatives, PACE stands as a proven model that is more affordable, provides better care, and helps individuals achieve their highest quality of life. The eligibility criteria for PACE include being age 55 or over, qualifying for a nursing home level of care as defined by the state, living in a PACE service area, and being able to live safely in the community with the help of PACE services.