Kaiser Partners on Habitat Health to Serve Elderly Patients at Home

April 2, 2024
Operating as a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, Habitat Health will begin serving older adults in Sacramento and Los Angeles in 2025

Kaiser Permanente and Town Hall Ventures have launched Habitat Health, an organization designed to help older adults overcome the challenges of aging at home.

Operating as a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), Habitat Health will support its participants to live independently in their homes and communities with comprehensive care. The company will serve older adults in partnership with local care partners, beginning first in California with Kaiser Permanente, and then nationally.

Habitat Health plans to begin serving older adults in Sacramento and Los Angeles in 2025. Through Habitat Health, participants with low incomes will be able to remain in their homes and receive comprehensive and personalized support.

PACE is an evidence-based model of care for older adults who meet a nursing-home level of care but mostly live in community settings. There are approximately 260 PACE organizations in 31 states serving nearly 54,000 individuals. 

They are a high-cost, high-need population with significant impairments. On average, enrollees have six chronic conditions and 46 percent have dementia. Ninety percent are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. PACE organizations receive capitated payments and are responsible for all services, including medical, behavioral, and long-term care services and support. Teams have flexibility in funding and can address social determinants or use funding to provide services such as installing an air conditioner for a person with respiratory illness. 

"Our dedication to helping improve the health of our communities and members includes ensuring that people covered by Medicaid and Medicare can count on receiving the care and coordination that Kaiser Permanente delivers to our members," said Bechara Choucair, M.D.,  chief health officer fir Kaiser Permanente, in a statement. "By combining our expertise in integrated care with Town Hall Ventures' experience launching businesses that support underserved communities, Habitat Health will help ensure that people who need the most care have access to high-quality, equitable medical care and services as they continue to age well in the communities that have cared for and supported them."

Eligible participants who join Habitat Health will be older adults with high-needs, most of whom dually qualify for Medicare and Medicaid. The company's partnership with Kaiser Permanente will serve as a model for future partnerships with other providers in their local markets across the country. Habitat Health's goal is to become a leading national provider rooted in local partnerships, ensuring delivery of high-quality care to PACE participants.

"This new partnership intends to improve the care and quality of life for the growing number of Americans who need it most," said Maria Ansari, M.D., CEO and executive director, The Permanente Medical Group, in a statement. "Kaiser Permanente members who choose to join Habitat Health will receive continuity of care through PACE centers and in their home, beginning in Sacramento," she added.

Founded in 2023, Habitat Health said it would benefit from Kaiser Permanente's expertise in creating efficient systems and developing innovative technology to integrate complex care, and from Town Hall Ventures' experience building successful care delivery companies that support underserved communities. Habitat Health will serve as payer for all participants' Medicare and Medicaid services, as defined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. PACE, a program with roots in the 1970s, has developed a track record for delivering superior outcomes to participants in quality, longevity, cost, and patient experience as compared to nursing homes.

"We have an extraordinary challenge in this country. The number of people age 85 and older in our country will double by 2040. We need a better answer for the millions of older adults that is more humane, compassionate, scalable, and affordable for the nation," said Andy Slavitt, general partner, Town Hall Ventures, in a statement. "We share Kaiser Permanente's commitment to finding innovative ways to improve community health, especially for underserved populations who need it most.”

Founded in 2018, Town Hall Ventures has invested in or participated in the build of 35 companies that improve how care is provided to underserved and under-represented communities. Portfolio companies include Cityblock Health, Curana Health, Equality Health, Landmark Health, Signify Health, Suvida Health, Strive Health, Thyme Care, Unite Us, and VillageMD.

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