By Amy Shin, Chief Mission Officer, WelbeHealth

March 2024 – The healthcare landscape is rapidly evolving, demanding proactive and innovative solutions to address the complex needs of our aging population. Among these solutions is the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a truly comprehensive care model for frail seniors that would deter the need for institutionalization to Skilled Nursing Facilities. PACE not only provides high-quality, value-based care but also offers a lifeline to many seniors who struggle to access the services they need. As we explore the untapped potential of PACE and the barriers to its wider adoption, we begin to see a path toward a brighter future for senior healthcare, and potential expansion to healthcare for all with complex needs.


What is PACE?

PACE is a unique healthcare program designed to meet the complex needs of frail, elderly individuals who require nursing home-level care but prefer to live in their communities. PACE integrates medical, social, and long-term care services, providing a comprehensive approach to care that emphasizes preventive measures and personalized attention. This holistic model is centered around the belief that seniors are best served when they can remain in their homes and communities, surrounded by familiar faces, and supported by a dedicated care team.


The Untapped Potential of PACE

Despite its proven effectiveness, PACE remains underutilized, with many seniors unaware of its benefits or unable to access it.

Studies have consistently shown that PACE participants experience lower hospitalization rates, improved depression scores, and increased life expectancy compared to those receiving traditional care. Additionally, PACE has demonstrated remarkable resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, with survival rates among participants outperforming those in nursing homes.


One of the most compelling aspects of PACE is its cost-effectiveness. According to a study by the National PACE Association, PACE saves taxpayers approximately $10,000 per participant annually by reducing the need for expensive hospitalizations and long-term care. This makes PACE not only a compassionate choice for seniors but also a smart investment in the future of healthcare.


Barriers to Access

Yet, access to PACE remains a challenge for low-income seniors, particularly those living in states where PACE programs are limited or nonexistent. The limited availability of PACE programs in certain states and service areas has created a barrier for many seniors who could benefit from this model of care.


However, there is hope on the horizon. Bipartisan efforts in the Senate are underway to expand access to PACE with a bill to be introduced imminently. One such bill would address delivering unified access to PACE’s lifesaving services. By endorsing these efforts and advocating for the expansion of PACE, we can ensure that more seniors have access to the high-quality, value-based care they deserve.



As we look to the future of senior healthcare, it is clear that PACE holds immense promise. By expanding access to PACE, we can not only improve the quality of life for countless seniors but also provide relief to our overburdened healthcare system. Let us seize this opportunity to embrace innovation and compassion in senior care, ensuring that every senior has the chance to age with dignity and grace in the comfort of their own communities.


About the Author


Amy is the Chief Mission Officer for WelbeHealth, a provider of comprehensive health services to low-income older adults through PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly), empowering frail seniors to age at home with medical care and wraparound support.  


Amy is known for her visionary leadership, championing value-based senior healthcare. Amy embodies WelbeHealth’s core value of “courage to love,” advocating for accessible, inclusive, and equitable care. 


With a strong background in strategic planning and operational efficiency, Amy has a proven track record of advancing senior healthcare. Prior to her role at WelbeHealth, she served as CEO of Health Plan of San Joaquin, overseeing healthcare delivery to underserved areas of California. Amy’s leadership is shaping the future of WelbeHealth and setting a standard for compassionate and forward-thinking healthcare practices. 


Amy’s experience also includes roles as a principal consultant with Health Management Associates, Chief Administrative Officer at On Lok Lifeways, and Senior Vice President at a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM). She is a licensed pharmacist, holding a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Additionally, Amy completed a two-year leadership fellowship with the California Health Care Foundation. 

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