House Bill 4432 and Senate Bill 203 aim to remedy this problem by reasonably declaring that an “unmet need” exists when an incumbent has fewer than 20 percent of customers in a market with more than 5,000 PACE-eligible Served consumers. Currently, only one area in the state meets this description: The area served by PACE Southeast Michigan, which currently has less than 5 percent of the estimated 25,000 PACE-eligible customers in the border triangle.

However, the bills show respect for existing PACE providers by asking companies looking to start in their respective backyards to:

  • Make sure they have the “relevant experience and financial resources” to run a PACE center.
  • Prove that your operation in the region “does not result in unnecessary duplication of services”. and
  • Acknowledge that their presence “does not affect the financial and service profitability of the existing vendor”.

Far from “shouldering” current PACE providers, as the authors of this flimsy April 22 column claim, one of which sits on the board of directors of the Presbyterian Villages of Michigan, PACE Southeast Michigan jointly owned by Henry Ford Health Systems.

Pending legislation may be lifesaving even in this era of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s because nursing home residents and employees – which in turn helps PACE avoid frail seniors – account for roughly a third of all COVID-19 deaths in Michigan and across the country. As of May 10, Michigan reported 18,239 deaths from the deadly virus, according to Bridge. Nationwide, more than 575,000 people have succumbed to the disease.

This is undoubtedly why Michigan House is considering adding more money in the fiscal 2022 state budget to help increase the number of Michiganers enrolled in PACE. The state is also poised to raise a ton of federal funds as part of the US bailout that could be used to add even more slots.

For its part, InnovAge hopes to build two PACE facilities in Metro Detroit for a total cost of $ 30 million. It would employ 250 Michiganers in well-paying jobs in each location and, as a for-profit company, pay taxes to both local and state governments.

High quality healthcare. Jobs. Investing in state and local economies. This is at the heart of House Bill 4432 and Senate Bill 203, endorsed by numerous other thought leaders in southeast Michigan, including Wayne County Commissioners Alisha Bell, who chairs this body, and Tim Killeen; Brenda Jones, President of Detroit City Council, and her colleague, City Councilor Andre Spivey; and Detroit NAACP President of the Rev. Wendell Anthony.

On the contrary, attention only diverts attention from the shortcomings of PACE Southeast Michigan. So they are more concerned with foolishly defending a floundering monopoly than with expanding medical and long-term care options for senior citizens in Michigan.

The state legislature should ignore the frivolity and pass either House Bill 4432 or Senate Bill 203 immediately.