After 20 years of caring for families at Pueblo Community Health Center, Dr. Rona Knudsen embraces her role as InnovAge PACE’s Center Medical Director, helping vulnerable older adults in the community. <br />
Role of PACE Physicians
October 04, 2021
Experts in Senior Care
Dr. Paul Evans is one of InnovAge’s medical doctors and works at InnovAge’s Peninsula PACE center in Newport News, Virginia. He sees the value of the team approach. “Our role as physicians has evolved,” he says. “We can’t possibly know everything, and we need to work as a team of supporting cast, with each team member helping come up with the best possible care plans for participants.”
Dr. Evans shifted his career path from research scientist to family practice and geriatric medicine when he discovered how much he enjoyed talking with patients and their families.
Like him, many of InnovAge’s care team members have expertise in geriatrics. “Knowing how differently medications can affect a person as they age helps tailor treatment plans supporting their participants’ goals of care” says Dr. Cassidy Tsay, regional medical officer of the Western region at InnovAge. “
With the PACE model, InnovAge’s physicians are expected to provide high quality care to each individual participant. “Unlike in fee-for-service models, providers aren’t paid based on how many patients they can see in an hour,” explains Dr. Tsay. “It is based on need and not volume of the visit.”
PACE physicians also have fewer restrictions placed on them in terms of prescribing and treatment options. They provide the care and services specific to the well-being of their individual participants.
Importance of Team-Based, Multidisciplinary Care
Working as an integrated team with other specialists in PACE provides physicians in-depth knowledge about each participant. “Each member of the team brings knowledge and perspective on a patient not readily available to a provider in a non-PACE world,” says Dr. Tsay.
Dr. Evans agrees. “Whether you’re a nurse, a driver, or have another role, you have the opportunity to give your input on participant care every day,” he says.