ANN ARBOR, MI—Altarum Institute has received nearly $500,000 to build a program to help older adults in the Huron Valley. The money is part of $13 million dollars in grant awards from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund (MHEF) to benefit the health of Michigan’s children and seniors. Thirty-three separate programs will receive grants ranging from $100,000 to $500,000.
Altarum’s Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness, which has developed the MediCaring Communities, a model for eldercare reform, will develop and test new strategies for providing comprehensive services to all frail older adults in the community, building on the clinical expertise of an established PACE (Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) program.
Many have pointed to PACE programs, such as Huron Valley PACE in Ypsilanti, MI, as the best available care for older adults with disabilities and ongoing medical conditions. PACE offers fully comprehensive services, from doctors and medications through activities, transportation, day center, and home care. Medicaid and Medicare cover the cost of PACE services, but this project will greatly expand the populations who can benefit from PACE. This partnership will offer tiers of services for Medicare beneficiaries who can pay for long-term care, and for those who cannot afford such services, yet cannot qualify for Medicaid. Services will also be available to Medicaid beneficiaries who have significant medical conditions, yet do not meet the current level-of-care criteria for PACE.
“We are excited to provide this opportunity for older adults in the Huron Valley PACE service area,” said Lincoln Smith, Altarum CEO. “This grant from the Health Fund will demonstrate that there is a better way to coordinate care, at a lower cost, and help more people who desperately need local services.”
“The Health Fund is proud to support Altarum’s important work on behalf of Michigan’s older residents,” said Health Fund Senior Program Officer Kari Sederburg. “PACE is a proven program, and we’re excited to help Altarum bring PACE benefits to more people.”
Rick Bluhm, Executive Director of Huron Valley PACE, added “we look forward to expanding the Huron Valley PACE mission by extending needed services to more people in our communities.”
The Health Fund was established to improve the health of Michigan residents and reduce the cost of health care with special emphasis on the health and wellness of children and seniors. The Health Fund was created through the passage of Public Act 4 of 2013, which authorized certain changes to how Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) operates in the state. For additional information about the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, visit mhealthfund.com or call 517-374-0031.