Wouldn’t it be great if there were a program that provided comprehensive health services – basically ALL needed health services – to elderly individuals in a way that would allow them to “age in place” in their homes, maintaining their independence as long as possible?
And wouldn’t it be wonderful if the seniors themselves did not have to worry about making appointments – and even finding a way to get to appointments – for everything from dentist visits to getting prescriptions refilled?
WELL, THERE IS a program that does those things – and even more – while keeping elderly residents living safely in their homes rather than in nursing homes. It is the St. Bernards Total Life Healthcare program.
Total Life Healthcare is a PACE program – Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly – RIGHT HERE IN JONESBORO. Sponsored jointly by St. Bernards and the East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging, it is designed specifically to meet the needs of frail elderly residents – those eligible for nursing home care – who can benefit from services that keep them living independently for as long as possible.
The PACE model provides ALL needed preventive, primary, acute and even long-term care services for eligible patients, most of whom live in their own homes.
Total Life Healthcare was one of the first rural PACE programs established in the United States, and it has been serving residents for nine years. Nationally, it is one of 239 PACE centers that serve more than 40,000 enrollees in 31 states. It was the first such program in Arkansas.
Centered on the belief that it is better for the well-being of seniors with chronic care needs – and for their families – to be served within the community whenever possible, it is a fully integrated, provider-based model of care which revolves around an interdisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, therapists, social workers, dietitians, drivers and others who provide direct care for patients based on individual needs assessments.
Total Life Healthcare helps individuals who meet the following criteria:
- Be 55 or older
- Live in a service area of a PACE organization (determined by specific zip codes)
- Need a nursing home-level of care (as determined by the state)
- Be able to live safely in the community with help from PACE
TLH provides care and services in the home, the community and the Total Life Healthcare center at 505 East Matthews Avenue, Jonesboro. Patients can have either Medicare or Medicaid (or both) to join.
PACE provides ALL the care and services covered by Medicare and Medicaid if authorized by the healthcare team. And it may cover some services that Medicare and Medicaid generally do not.
Some of the services covered include:
- Adult day primary care
- Emergency Services
- Home care
- Hospital care
- Lab and/or x-ray services
- Medical specialty services
- Nursing home care
- Nutritional counseling
- Occupational and physical therapy
Total Life Healthcare receives a capitated payment monthly on each participant from Medicare and/or Medicaid. Participants not eligible for Medicaid will be responsible financially for the monthly premium for the long-term care portion of the PACE benefit. Participants may be fully and personally liable for costs if they receive services from an out-of-provider network or unauthorized services.
This may sound too good to be true – but the Total Life Healthcare program provides these services as a way to be sure eligible residents can have the highest quality of life possible.
To find out more about Total Life Healthcare, contact a St. Bernards PACE program representative by calling 870-207-7500 or by stopping by the TLH center at 505 East Matthews Avenue, Jonesboro.