Navigating Growth for New PACE Programs

Laura Ferrara, Chief Strategy Officer

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In our first blog of this series, we talked about some of the misconceptions about starting a new PACE program, as well as hurdles new programs must overcome. In this blog, we will talk about growth for new programs – including those struggling to grow, as well as those that are growing quickly – to ensure they continue to meet participants’ needs.  

Struggling to Grow: Unveiling the Invisible Support

For programs struggling to grow, our first recommendation is to check for a lack of engagement with the community. Often, we hear that PACE is a best kept secret – that not enough people are aware of the program or don’t find out about it until it is too late. For example, my father was a PACE participant, but I wonder if we would have been aware of it had I not been working in the field. As such, programs should look for ways to engage with the community and make PACE highly visible.

A new program should have the infrastructure and systems in place to analyze their market. Where is the highest population of eligible individuals and how are you trying to reach them? What are your goals for those populations? Establish specific goals for market penetration and track progress systematically, allowing for strategic adjustments based on performance.

Recently, Intus Care was working with a program on this exact scenario to develop a marketing plan. In our research, we determined that they had three ZIP codes that if they could increase their penetration rates modestly, they would exceed their enrollment cap. That allowed the program to narrow their focus on those three specific areas.

Growing Fast: Balancing Expansion with Operational Excellence

For programs experiencing rapid growth, it is important to not just grow, but grow well. Organizational success in handling growth lies not only in strategic planning but also in operational flexibility. With every additional 100 members, a PACE program evolves into a different organization. This growth demands setting up economies of scale with a flexible operational infrastructure that can expand seamlessly with increased capacity.

Key strategies for managing growth effectively include:

  • Operational Excellence: Develop and maintain operational systems that are not only robust but also flexible enough to accommodate increased capacity.
  • Scalable Infrastructure: Ensure that the infrastructure is scalable to grow alongside the increased demand for services.
  • Strategic Expansion: Plan expansions carefully, considering the addition of centers or interdisciplinary teams, while addressing potential cracks in the system.

By combining strategic planning with operational flexibility, Intus Care aims to ensure that our programs not only expand but thrive in delivering exceptional care to our communities. As we embark on the journey of growth, let us remain committed to our core mission of providing compassionate and comprehensive care to every individual we serve.

Want to see how Intus Care can help your organization add a new program or help with other needs? Take our self-assessments that cover topics such as data-driven culture, quality processes, CMS compliance risks, PACE operations, and utilization management. Our Integrated Care Services team will provide tailored recommendations based on your responses.    

In our next blog of this series, we will address the topic of scalability for new PACE programs, including considerations for technology for long-term success.

Contact Intus Care to learn more about how we can support the growth of your PACE program through our website contact page.

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