As PACE Model Reaches New Heights, ConcertoCare Launches First In-Person Center – Home Health Care News

With its outlook already strong for 2022, the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) model continues to gain momentum.

ConcertoCare, a value-based care provider that offers an array of home-based care services, announced Thursday the opening of its first in-person PACE center.

The center — Cherry Blossom PACE, located in Alexandria, Virginia — will offer ConcertoCare’s interdisciplinary care delivery model to ensure the health, independence and dignity of seniors by helping them remain in their homes and part of their communities.

Dr. Julian Harris, the CEO of ConcertoCare, told Home Health Care News that opening this first in-person PACE location was a natural extension of the company’s model, given its “mission to provide exceptional, comprehensive care to complex, aging patients.”

“We fundamentally believe that caring for seniors and other adults with unmet health and social needs is most successful when they are supported by an interdisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, social workers, behavioral health clinicians and health coaches, through in-person and virtual approaches,” Harris said in an email. “That approach is at the core of everything that we do. It also happens to be a central premise of the PACE model.”

Generally, PACE helps dual-eligible beneficiaries remain in the broader community through an interdisciplinary approach.

Typically run out of a central hub or center, many PACE organizations had to pivot to 100% in-home and remote models due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That flexibility contributed to PACE enrollees contracting the COVID-19 virus at a much lower rate compared to nursing home residents.

“In PACE, while some of these services are delivered in the PACE center, many of the services are delivered in the home,” Harris continued. “[That’s] where many patients with complex health conditions prefer to receive their care, and where there is a long track record of improving the quality and experience of care.”

The 15,000-square-foot Cherry Blossom PACE will serve adults 55 and older who need nursing home-level care but can live safely in their own homes. Services will include primary and specialty care, family caregiver support, nutritional counseling, social activities and rehab services, among other offerings.

In February, ConcertoCare announced that it had raised $105 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Wells Fargo Strategic Capital, and included contributions from Obvious Ventures, Vast Ventures, SteekSky Ventures and others.

Harris mentioned plans to open a PACE center when ConcertoCare secured that funding. The process of launching the new PACE program took between 18 to 24 months, he said.

“We are excited about the strong interest in the PACE program at the federal and state levels, including bipartisan legislation currently under review in the House and Senate that would strengthen the PACE program,” Harris said. “We believe PACE to be a great model and are supportive of efforts to make it more accessible to patients who need it across the country.”

In particular, PACE helps improve health equity by being a support system for seniors with complex health needs who often are failed by the long-term care models in place, he added.

“Even more often, it fails patients who are racial or ethnic minorities, patients who live in rural areas and patients with socioeconomic barriers,” Harris said. “Programs like PACE help to improve health equity and that is part of what excites us about the model.”

ConcertoCare also acquired Crown Health, a home-based primary care provider that serves the Pacific Northwest, in February. The move aligned well with its merger with Perfect Health, a home-based primary care provider that was integrated into the company in 2021.

ConcertoCare – also an in-home primary care provider – currently operates in eight states and has raised a total of $149.5 million to date.

The concept of at-home primary care, in general, has likewise gained significant traction over the last couple of years. Companies such as Patina Health, PopHealthCare and Heal have all received significant investments.

Harris said ConcertoCare has plans to open more PACE facilities in other parts of the country later this year.

“We are looking forward to expanding our PACE offering so that the dual-eligible population has the opportunity to receive at-home and community-based health and social services, and also look forward to continued partnership with community-based organizations,” he said.