Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cherokee Elder Care?

The elderly represent a growing and vital resource in our communities that may need an added level of care. Cherokee Elder Care was created to work in conjunction with the community, state and federal government to provide this specialized care to northeastern Oklahoma. Cherokee Elder Care is the first PACE program in the state of Oklahoma and the first PACE program to be sponsored by a Native American tribe. Additionally, it is one of the first rural PACE sites in the nation. It represents a team effort to increase the availability and quality of services, facilitate their timely delivery and enhance the lives of elderly persons by assisting them to remain in their homes as long as possible.

What is the PACE program?

PACE (Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) is a federal program designed to keep elders living in their homes, connected with their communities. The PACE center combines the services of an adult day health center, primary care office, and rehabilitation facility into a single location. Services include but are not limited to primary care, rehabilitation, prescription medication, meals/nutritional counseling, respite services, caregiver training, home health and transportation. Utilizing an inter-disciplinary team (IDT) comprised of physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, therapists, social service workers, dieticians, and transportation specialists, the total needs of the elder can be addressed. This provides an all-inclusive and comprehensive continuum of care designed to maintain and ideally to improve the quality of life for our elderly. CEC has a three-way agreement with Medicare and Medicaid for services to be provided and paid. Services that are not performed within the clinic will be provided by contracted providers.

Do I have to be a citizen of the Cherokee Nation to participate?

No. Participation is open to all who qualify for the PACE program.

Are prescription drugs covered?

Yes. All prescription and non-prescription drugs deemed necessary by the PACE interdisciplinary care team are paid for by the PACE program.

How much does it cost?

The cost of Cherokee Elder Care depends on the participant’s Medicare and Medicaid eligibility. If your family member has Medicaid, or Medicaid & Medicare, there is no cost. Everything from medical services and prescriptions, to transportation is provided at no charge. If your family member is eligible for Medicare only, there will be a fee involved. Those without Medicare or Medicaid may private pay. "Lock-In" Provisions– Once your loved one becomes a Cherokee Elder Care participant, they are liable for the cost of services obtained without Personal Care Team approval (except for emergency services, emergency services are always covered).

What are the qualifications to participate in PACE?
  • Must be 55 years of age or over
  • Must be certified by the state as needing some level of nursing home level of care
  • Can be safely cared for in their home
  • Must live in a PACE service area (zip codes)

How do people get to the day health center?

PACE programs provide transportation to the day health center. Transportation is a key part of the PACE benefit. Transportation is not only provided between the home and the day health center, but also to appointments with specialists and other activities.

What happens to my Medicare/Medicaid coverage when I join CEC?

Participants with Medicare and/or Medicaid do not lose their coverage, but Cherokee Elder Care becomes the administrator of these benefits. This means that you maintain benefits covered by Medicare and/or Medicaid and become eligible for additional services offered by Cherokee Elder Care.

Do PACE participants attend the day health center every day?

No. On average, PACE participants attend the day center three times a week. Day center attendance is based on individual needs and can range from once a week, or to several days a week, as needed.