Fallon Health’s Summit ElderCare® program keeps seniors living safely at home

New data released as Fallon celebrates 25 years of PACE

Worcester, Mass., September 3, 2020—Fallon Health, a nationally recognized not-for-profit health care organization, today released new data that shows how senior care services that combine medical care with health insurance and social support in one comprehensive program are succeeding in providing families with an alternative option to placing their loved ones in a nursing home. The data’s release coincides with Fallon’s 25th anniversary of offering a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a proven solution for aging in place that provides complete care for independent living and simultaneously supports family caregivers.

Fallon’s statistics show 92-percent of participants in its Massachusetts PACE program, called Summit ElderCare, are still living in their own homes. The data—which was compiled in the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic— looked at the 1,177 participants enrolled in the program. According to the CDC, older adults, especially those with underlying medical conditions—a description that fits most Summit ElderCare participants—are most at risk for severe illness. The best way to reduce risk of getting COVID-19, is to limit interactions with others and stay home.

“For 25 years, Summit ElderCare has been successful in empowering frail elders and their families in achieving their health goals and enjoying a better life,” said Richard Burke, President and CEO of Fallon Health. “PACE is built on the belief that chronic care needs are best met at home. During the current health care crisis, we have seen first-hand how flexible and durable this model of care is, and we believe its benefits provide a shining example of how patient-centered care with wrap-around services is more relevant than ever.”

In light of the pandemic, Fallon transformed its PACE model in the following ways:

  • Keeping PACE centers open to participants who require the day program to remain safe in the community.
  • Moving much of the care into the community including virtual check-ins and home visits.
  • Temporarily transforming the organization’s Worcester site into a 24/7 infirmary for COVID-19 positive participants. The infirmary was open from April to June 2020.

“Summit ElderCare has been a miracle for my mom,” said Marie Ushinski, caregiver of a Worcester participant. “With everything happening with COVID, fear took over. But Summit stepped up, made decisions quickly and followed through with plans to keep her home. The team at Summit is reliable, organized and always on their game. They help keep her safe so I don’t have to worry. That means a lot.”

“Now, more than ever, families are looking for choices that include keeping their loved ones’ safe at home. And Fallon’s PACE program is a much-needed answer for many,” said MA Senate President Emerita Harriette L. Chandler. “I applaud Summit ElderCare for their 25 years of service to the community, and encourage people to explore this compassionate and proven option.”

“The PACE model of care is uniquely positioned to support the needs of frail elders during the pandemic and beyond,” said Robert Schreiber, M.D., Vice President and Medical Director of Fallon Health’s Summit ElderCare program. “It is a great honor to be trusted to provide our participants with individualized care, especially now when there is so much at stake. We will continue to work tirelessly in our efforts to provide a source of comfort to our participants, their loved ones and their caregivers for the next 25 years and beyond.”

Fallon is the largest PACE provider in New England and the sixth largest in the country, according to the National PACE Association.

Fallon serves PACE participants with facilities in the Massachusetts communities of Leominster, Lowell, Springfield, Webster and Worcester. The organization also offers PACE through its Fallon Health Weinberg PACE program in western New York. To learn more, or to take a virtual tour of a Summit ElderCare site, please visit: fallonhealth.org/summit.

Melissa Randall
Corporate Communications Manager, Fallon Health

About Fallon Health
Founded in 1977, Fallon Health is a leading health care services organization that supports the diverse and changing needs of those we serve. In addition to offering innovative health insurance solutions and a variety of Medicaid and Medicare products, we excel in creating unique health care programs and services that provide coordinated, integrated care for seniors and individuals with complex health needs. Fallon has consistently ranked among the nation’s top health plans and is accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for its HMO, Medicare Advantage and Medicaid products.