In this week’s episode, we speak to Shawn Bloom, CEO of the National PACE Association.

As both a provider and payor source of long-term care, PACE aims to deliver all the services needed for elderly individuals to age in their own community.

During our talk, Shawn discusses topics including:

– How Shawn got involved with PACE and the long-term care industry.

– Long-term care policy and how it has changed over the years.

– The history of PACE and how it has grown since its inception.

– The importance of suitable housing for perpetuating the long-term care marketplace and enabling seniors to age in their community.

– Shawn’s leadership style and how he enables the success of his team.

– How PACE prepared for and worked through the pandemic.

– The importance of innovation and expanding access to PACE programs.

– What separates PACE programs from other long-term care models.

– The challenges faced by PACE programs.

– Sources of quality information for staying up-to-date on the long-term care industry.

– The ways in which Shawn believes PACE programs can improve.

Rapid fire Q/A

When did you join PACE? 

I’ve been here for around 22 years. We’ve seen a lot of changes in PACE and in the surrounding long-term care marketplace. There’s been an enormous amount of improvements and a lot of progress in giving frail older adults greater options to remain in the community.

What’s something you wish you had an extra 5 hours a week to work on? 

Going back 22 years ago, we relocated the association to DC and, like many people that work in associations, we were hired because of our subject matter expertise and policy skills. Back then we had four people and today we have around 30 positions at NPA. So my role has really evolved out of policy because we have a very good, capable policy staff. 

I wish I could do more in-depth policy analysis, but I realized there are people that do it better than me. And that’s no longer the core essence of my job. But I still do a lot of our state stuff in partnership with our state director.

Who do you call for information or advice?

My colleagues because I work with individuals that have a lot of in-depth knowledge in the long-term care industry. They have affiliations with a variety of different healthcare associations and also have their own networks.

What makes PACE unique? 

The first thing people notice is how many people and types of professionals can be involved in a participant’s life on any given day. We had a CMS administrator just visit PACE last week and her experience was “my gosh, there’s a lot here.” 

So I think it’s the totality of services that are available and being rendered to participants that tends to surprise people.

How can PACE improve? 

We are always working to be more assertive in expanding awareness of PACE in the communities we serve. It’s also important for us to continue to innovate on the operational aspects of PACE.



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