Cottie Petrie-Norris

Legislation expanding senior services signed into law

Assembly Bill 1128, authored by Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris has been signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. This bill will expand access to the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) by consolidating the responsibility of licensure functions within the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).

“Seniors deserve to age in the comfort of their homes and communities, not in institutions,” commented Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach). “AB 1128 will facilitate the statewide growth of PACE programs, enabling thousands more seniors to access essential services that improve their independence and quality of life.”

PACE is a proven success story that serves eligible participants by providing all-inclusive Medicare and Medi-Cal covered benefits through PACE centers, while still allowing seniors to reside in their home. When compared to other models of care, PACE saves the state as much as $23 million. California only has 10,000 PACE slots for seniors and more than 100,000 seniors who qualify for the program. VIDEO from the Senate Health Committee hearing testimony.

Currently, both the Department of Public Health (DPH) and DHCS oversees licensing functions for PACE. Requiring dual approvals has delayed the rollout of new and expanding PACE programs, often by 18 months, but frequently taking two years or more. This complex and lengthy approval process for PACE providers was antithetical to a smooth and efficient government.

AB 1128 will become operative January 1, 2020 and will reduce the redundancy by removing duplicative regulation and create a more efficient licensure process through only one state department. This is a commonsense measure that will eliminate government redundancy and save the state money both by reducing administrative costs, and by providing care through PACE rather than less desirable and more costly programs.

AB 1128 is supported by AARP California, AltaMed, Alzheimer’s Los Angeles, Alzheimer’s San Diego, Association of Regional Care Agencies, Brandman Centers for Senior Care, California Alliance for Retired Americans, California Commission on Aging, California Collaborative for Long Term Services and Supports, California PACE Association, California School Employees Association, Center for Elder’s Independence, Congress of California Seniors, Disability Rights California, Eden Housing, Innovative Integrated Health Inc., LeadingAge California, On Lok Senior Health Services, San Ysidro Health, Saint Paul’s PACE and WelbeHealth.

This article was released by the Office of Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris.