EAST PROVIDENCE – Today, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse visited PACE Rhode Island’s flagship center in East Providence to meet with seniors and joined East Providence Mayor Roberto DaSilva and officials from PACE-RI to celebrate a $300,000 earmark that the Senators included in the Fiscal Year 2022 Omnibus Appropriations law to help renovate and equip PACE-RI’s new health clinic and adult day care center.

 

PACE-RI is a non-profit health plan that helps nursing-home-eligible older individuals with complex medical needs maintain a more independent life at home in the community while also accessing needed services. 

 

Last year PACE-RI opened its adult day center with state-of-the-art clinical facilities and expanded rehabilitation services and amenities at 10 Tripps Lane.  The building includes a commercial kitchen for PACE-RI to provide healthy meals tailored to its diverse participant population.

 

“PACE-RI offers a range of coordinated, integrated services.  But what it really does is simple: It increases independence for seniors and builds community and connection for them while improving wellness and health outcomes.  It also provides good value for taxpayers because it reduces the need for emergency health costs, lengthy hospital stays, and nursing home care.  So this is a smart investment in our seniors, the community, and in ensuring this facility has the right infrastructure, equipment, and amenities to serve participants,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee.

 

“PACE’s new center provides a safe, welcoming place for seniors to spend their days, allowing them to continue to live independently and with dignity at home,” said Senator Whitehouse.  “Senator Reed and I were pleased to deliver $300,000 to support the completion of this facility.  When we head back to Washington this week, we’re going to be doing even more for Rhode Island seniors – voting to finally lower prescription drug prices.”

 

“We purchased and completely renovated an older building to meet the needs of the growing number of elders we serve,” said Joan Kwiatkowski, CEO for PACE-RI. “Unfortunately, the winter showed us our existing roof was more porous than anticipated. Senator Jack Reed, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and their respective staffs worked with us to identify appropriate funding and we are slated to begin our roof resurfacing project this month. We are incredibly grateful for the Senators’ support and proud to work with them to ensure older adults age with the independence they want, support they need, and dignity they deserve.”

 

“We appreciate Senator Jack Reed and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s support of this organization which provides great services to our seniors,” said Mayor DaSilva

 

During the visit, the Senators also outlined how pending legislation could help Rhode Islanders save on health care costs by empowering Medicare to directly negotiate lower drug prices on some high-cost drugs, capping out-of-pocket prescription drug costs, and limiting pharmaceutical price increases to the rate of inflation.  The U.S. Senate is scheduled to soon take up a legislative package that will:

 

•           Give Medicare, for the first time, the ability to directly negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower the price of drugs.

 

•           Cap out-of-pocket drug costs at $2,000 a year for Medicare beneficiaries.

 

•           Offer a new “inflation rebate” requiring drug companies to provide refunds to Medicare beneficiaries for increases in prescription drug prices that exceed the rate of inflation.

 

•           Provide free coverage of vaccines for senior citizens to prevent Medicare beneficiaries from having to pay out of pocket for recommended immunizations.