The Changing Face of Long term Care: How PACE Medications at Home Impact Care

For decades, when people aged and developed chronic medical conditions, they were moved from their homes into a nursing home setting. The advent of the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) in 1971 marked a change in that process, allowing many people to age in the comfort of their own home. Today, the ability to obtain comprehensive PACE care, including medications, and remain at home is further evolving long term care.  

PACE: The Future of Long term Care

While the implementation of PACE has been a gradual process over the last several decades, PACE centers represent the future of health care.   Several factors will likely continue to drive an increase in PACE utilization:  
  • An aging Baby Boomer population will increase overall demand for long term care services. Estimates from the United States Census indicate that there will be 69.4 million American seniors by 2030. This nearly doubles the 35.5 million seniors in the year 2000.
  • Baby Boomers largely desire maintaining some level of independence, making PACE centers a preferred method of long term care.
  • Since the inception of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, health care as a whole is moving toward a “medical home” model, where patients receive collaborative care that’s focused on quality and safety. PACE centers align with this model of care.
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PACE Medications at Home

The average PACE participant has eight acute or chronic medical conditions and needs assistance with at least three activities of daily living. Because of the sheer number of health conditions experienced by this population, medications play a significant role in PACE.   The role of the geriatric pharmacist in delivering PACE medications at home is complex. Before medications are dispensed, pharmacists implement a number of quality assurance and safety processes, including:  
  • elimination/prevention of duplicate medications
  • monitoring of associated labs
  • enforcement of Beers criteria from the American Geriatric Society
  • dose adjustments
  • identification of drug interactions
  After these processes take place, PACE medications can be then be packaged and delivered for use in the home, which helps allow the older population to age at home as long as possible, while still supported by an interdisciplinary team.   Grane Rx partners with PACE centers to provide pharmacy solutions from initial prescription ordering to packaging and delivery of medications. Our PACE pharmacy solution set includes innovative, participant-friendly medication packaging, known as SimplePacks; clear and effective labeling and prescription directions; and 24/7 access to certified geriatric pharmacists.   Grane Rx also takes the quality assurance process one step further — 12 automated security checkpoints are involved in dispensing SimplePacks, helping to reduce the number of medication errors.   Once SimplePacks have been dispensed, they’re delivered to the home of the participant. This program eliminates the need for the clinical staff to manage the medications and provides more time for participant care. Further, this program helps enhance medication compliance and adherence, which will improve outcomes for participants in the program. The usage of PACE medications at home helps strike a balance. While helping improve medication safety and adherence, it also provides the older population the opportunity to age at home, a continuation of the evolution of long term care.]]>

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