Cherokee Elder Care Program is a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).
The Cherokee Elder Care Program began in 2008. As a PACE, it follows a program model in which a diverse team of health providers collaborate to:
- increase the availability and quality of services
- deliver prompt care
- help elders stay in their homes as long as possible
The care team is led by a primary care physician and includes different medical professionals who assess needs, develop care plans, and deliver services.
Cherokee Elder Care is:
One of the first PACE programs to serve rural communities
One of only 15 rural PACE sites in the nation
The first PACE program in Oklahoma
The first PACE program sponsored a tribe or tribal organization
The state of Oklahoma assesses which services a potential client is eligible for, and the Cherokee Elder Care Program provides the following services if identified.
Services provided directly
Home health aides who assist with daily activities
Personal care, such as help bathing or getting dressed
Meals and nutritional counseling
Some transportation services
Services provided to help patients navigate processes
Help completing Medicaid applications
The Cherokee Nation Elder Care Program serves about 83 elders each month.
- Able to safely live in a home within the program's service area
- Age 55+
- Certified as needing a nursing home level of care
Those who enroll in the program are required to use it as their primary medical provider. Program participants do not need to be members of Cherokee Nation or Native American.
Medicare and Medicaid reimburse the program for services provided to elder beneficiaries. People who are eligible for Medicare, but not Medicaid, make monthly payments to the program.
To be covered by Medicaid, a PACE program must be included in the state's Medicaid plan as an available care option. Once this option is available, the state can contract with a PACE provider. Cherokee Nation worked with the state of Oklahoma to become listed as an option in the state's Medicaid plan. After being listed as an option, the Cherokee Elder Care Program could contract with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
- Learn more about the PACE program model.
- Watch the short video, What Works for Us: Culture and Community, to see how tribal LTSS programs have woven tradition and culture into care.
- Read about Cherokee Nation Home Health Services, Inc., another successful LTSS program run by Cherokee Nation.