Extent and Coverage of Rural PACE Services

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2023
Anticipated completion date:
August 2024

The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) is an innovative model supporting functionally and medically vulnerable older adults (55 and older) living in the community, rather than in institutional settings. Funded through Medicaid and Medicare, PACE provides comprehensive services (e.g., medical care, transportation, home care, respite care, social services, nutrition) to support people to remain in their home and community. PACE can be found in all regions across the country, with 150 PACE organizations currently operating in 32 states and Washington, D.C. In 2005, the Rural PACE Pilot Act was passed, which resulted in the growth of PACE in rural areas, funding 15 programs across the rural U.S.; the majority of those still operate today. More information is needed, however, to understand how effectively PACE is being used in rural areas and where there is room for growth.

Using U.S. Census data on income and disability, this project will estimate how many rural older adults are potentially PACE-eligible, but are not currently being served by a PACE program or in a PACE state. This project will also use data from PACE to examine what proportion of rural PACE eligible people are in a PACE service area, and how that compares with the proportion of urban PACE eligible people in urban PACE areas. We will work collaboratively with the National PACE Association in this work, building on our prior work in rural aging in place.