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Budget cuts forces Wyoming PACE program to close

Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 11:35 AM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Just last week, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon announced more budget cuts are on the way.

A program of all-inclusive care for the elderly is in the process of defunding. Statistics provide clarity that Wyoming is the third most elderly populated state in America.

Wyoming PACE is a seven-year program that is the only site state-wide offering all-inclusive care of a nursing home, without people being in an actual nursing care facility.

Even though Laramie County is eligible for $17.7 million in CARES cash, Cheyenne Regional Medical Center (CRMC) is experiencing defunding, eliminating specific programs.

According to the CRMC staff, the PACE program is phasing out over the next six months.

“In the instance of PACE, we are looking at what alternatives exist,” Tim Thornell, CEO of CRMC said. “Unfortunately, PACE is such a great program that helps coordinate and manage vulnerable patients’ care. There might be some pieces we can replicate moving forward.”

According to CRMC, the elimination of PACE will save roughly $2 million in state funding. The Wyoming Department of Health reports $89 million will reduce from its budget.

Wyoming PACE says it will look to place the 35 staff members in other healthcare divisions within CRMC.

Copyright 2020 KEVN. All rights reserved.

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