You can be in PACE and still be a regional center client. You cannot be in PACE and on the DD Waiver at the same time.
Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provide medical and social services for people age 55 and older who qualify for nursing home care but can live at home with support. PACE is operated throughout California by local PACE organizations. Regional center clients can join a PACE plan without losing regional center eligibility. Even though you can keep your regional center eligibility if you enroll in PACE, you must get all your Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits solely through PACE. This means that if your regional center was giving you any services that are available through Medicare or Medi-Cal, you will have to get them from your PACE plan after you enroll. Your regional center service coordinator must work with your local PACE plan to make sure there is no overlap in the services they each provide you. Your regional center and your PACE plan should work together to create a written agreement that says who is responsible for providing each of your services.
If you are on a Medi-Cal waiver, such as the Home and Community-Based Services Waiver for the Developmentally Disabled (the DD Waiver), you will have to disenroll from the waiver before joining PACE. If you are on the DD Waiver and decide you want to disenroll from the waiver so you can join PACE, you can still get services from the regional center that PACE does not provide, but the funding source for your services will change.
Whether to join PACE is an individual decision. While some services PACE and regional centers provide are similar, there are areas where the two service systems differ. The regional centers offer expertise, providers, and services tailored for people with developmental disabilities. The PACE programs are tailored for people age 55 and older. You may find it is worthwhile to get services from both programs if you have a developmental disability, are 55 or older, are eligible for nursing home care, and think that you would benefit from the complementary specialties of the two systems. On the other hand, if you like your regional center services and current medical providers, you might not want to join PACE. Joining PACE would require you to receive services from PACE’s employed and contracted providers. Most of these will be different from your current providers.
More information is available at www.calpace.org.