Miami Jewish Health Systems PACE Centers Announce Partnership w/Miami VA

December 7th, 2012 By Jackie Larena-Lacayo

Miami Jewish Health Systems has entered into a partnership agreement with the Miami Veterans Healthcare System (MVAHS) to implement the Florida Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) in order to provide a model of care to keep elderly veterans in Miami-Dade County living independently.

The partnership involves a provider agreement with the Florida PACE Center located within the campus of Miami Jewish Health Systems, which is near the Miami VA Hospital. The Florida PACE Centers, Inc. is sponsored by Miami Jewish Health Systems, a long-time leader in all elder issues from healthcare to Alzheimer’s research. This 72-year-old organization treats 10,000 people of all ethnicities and religions annually across South Florida.

The goal of the partnership is to target an underserved population of veterans who are Medicare eligible, but have incomes that are too high to qualify for Medicaid and do not have sufficient income to pay for the Florida PACE program.

“The PACE program offers our veterans a quality of life by allowing them to live in their homes and age with dignity,” said Dr. Enrique Aguilar, Associate Chief of Staff, Geriatrics and Extended Care at Miami VA Healthcare System.

Florida PACE Centers provide comprehensive inpatient and outpatient medical care with specialty services, such as rehabilitation therapy, cognitive activities, dentistry and podiatry, to Medicare or Medicaid participants 55 years and older. Most importantly, PACE is designed to keep seniors out of institutional care and living independently.

“We are very pleased to partner with Miami’s VA Hospital. This is the first not-for-profit/government partnership that will benefit our veteran population by keeping them at home or in other community settings as long as possible, thus delaying an undesired and costly nursing home placement,” said Jeffrey P. Freimark, President and Chief Executive Officer of Miami Jewish Health Systems. “Our goal is to provide enhanced quality of life for the elderly. PACE works effectively for all those concerned: patients, caregivers and their families.”

As a participant in the PACE program, veterans will be receiving comprehensive acute, home care, skilled care and other social services that will allow them to live in their home environment. This initiative is viable and unique because it provides veterans an alternative to institutional care.

In 2011, the average expenditure for a contract nursing home resident in the Miami VA System was $100,000 a year. The cost for the PACE model of care to a veteran enrolled in the PACE program does not exceed $30,000 a year. This represents a substantial decrease in cost.

Miami Jewish Health Systems and Miami Veterans Healthcare System acknowledges and thanks several senators, congressman and congresswomen for their support of the Florida PACE Program. They include Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart and Congresswoman Frederica Wilson.

About Miami Jewish Health Systems

Miami Jewish Health Systems is one of the most innovative healthcare providers in the United States. Treating 10,000 people of all ages, ethnicities and religions annually, this not-for-profit organization, formerly known as Miami Jewish Home and Hospital, offers community-based, residential and on-campus medical programs. The 72-year-old institution draws patients from across the nation and around the world for its pioneering Centers of Excellence that include: Rosomoff Comprehensive Rehabilitation Center; Brucker Biofeedback Center; Memory Center; Rehabilitation Services at Miami Jewish Health Systems’ Nursing Facility and the Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).

About Miami VA Healthcare System

The Miami VA Healthcare System serves Veterans in three South Florida counties: Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe, with an estimated veteran population of 285,000. Our parent facility The Bruce W. Carter Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center is located on 26.3 acres with an attached four-story Nursing Home. The Medical Center opened in 1968. It provides general medical, surgical, and psychiatric services. It serves as an AIDS/HIV Center, a Prosthetic Treatment Center, Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitative Center, and Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center. The Bruce W. Carter Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center is recognized as a Center for excellence in Spinal Cord Injury Research, Substance Abuse Treatment, and Chest Pain Center. It is the tertiary referral facility for the West Palm Beach VAMS and provides open-heart surgery to other facilities in Florida. To enhance the delivery of patient care to our Veterans in the South Florida area, the Miami VAHS has consolidated laundry service as well as Nutrition and Food Service with the West Palm Beach VAMC.

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