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OSF HealthCare joins with state of Illinois to improve the health of vulnerable, older adults

Newly expanding care-at-home program aims to reduce hospital readmissions and improve quality of life


OSF HealthCare, through its Innovation division, is excited to explore opportunities with the state of Illinois to improve access to home-based, high-quality, comprehensive care for individuals served by Medicare and Medicaid. Through this strategic collaboration, OSF HealthCare will provide access to expanded care for those living in under-resourced communities in the Greater Peoria area.

Research shows it is better for the well-being of seniors with chronic care needs and their families to be served in the community whenever possible. The notion that people are often healthier and happier at home was reinforced in a recent AARP study, which found three out of four people aged 50 and older want to age at home, not in a facility.

As OSF HealthCare continues its efforts to improve the lives of those it serves with this unique opportunity to care for Illinois residents ages 55 and older in their own homes and communities. As part of the state collaboration, OSF will develop and launch the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) for vulnerable older individuals in targeted Peoria-area neighborhoods.

“As a Catholic health system, we are dedicated to living our Mission of serving with the greatest care and love and that includes caring for the most vulnerable,” says Ralph Velazquez, MD, OSF HealthCare chief medical officer.

“OSF,  with robust Innovation and Digital Health initiatives, is perfectly poised to support those individuals in their homes and communities, so they can better manage their health, including chronic conditions, while enjoying familiar surroundings and independence” Dr. Ralph Velazquez, Chief Medical Officer, OSF HealthCare

What is Pace?

PACE is a Medicare and Medicaid risk-based care program with set fees that offers comprehensive, team-based medical and social services for seniors through collaborating health care agencies. PACE has already been deployed across other states, including Michigan. It is now being introduced in Illinois.

The overarching goals of PACE are to improve the health and wellness of individuals at risk of having to be placed in a nursing home, while providing personalized solutions that improve outcomes, decrease disparities and are sustainable over time. The program offers all-inclusive support for older adults to age at home. PACE also brings relief to the growing number of family caregivers meeting the health care and social needs of older adults every day.

Program features high engagement

The program would include at-home care while also building on the Adult Day Center model that focuses on increasing social interaction opportunities through regular interaction with others, creating friendships to prevent social isolation and to strengthen communication skills.

Senior Vice President for OSF Innovation Becky Buchen adds, “We are confident and enthusiastic about exploring additional opportunities to leverage our growing experience in new care delivery models that allow patients to receive wrap around services and more holistic, robust care in their home. The new, innovative approaches will build on our decades-long history of providing Home Care, operating Adult Day Care Centers, plus deep experience with bringing team-based, complex care to elderly, frail residents.”

Several OSF services are being evaluated for inclusion including home health, nutritional counseling, social work, wound care, pain management, and various therapies.

OSF HealthCare has been an active participant with the state of Illinois on several innovative programs.

  •  Last year, OSF and the state of Illinois signed a five year $60+ million-dollar contract to deliver care and services including maternal and women’s health to the Medicaid population.
  •   During the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, OSF partnered with the State to deliver a full continuum of digital health services including Covid-19 call centers, remote patient monitoring, digital pre-hospital care, and hospital at home services for all ill and at-risk individuals within the state.

This article originally appeared on OSF HealthCare.

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