How is PACE different?

Harbor Health Elder Service Plan (ESP) is a unique medical plan offering a comprehensive service package. The medical care is  provided and coordinated by ESP Geriatric Professionals guided by a Care Plan developed and customized for the individual’s needs.  Most of the medical care is provided at our convenient ESP Day Center with transportation included, or when necessary in the participant’s home.  ESP provides the entire continuum of medical care and services to seniors with chronic care needs while maintaining their independence in their home for as long as possible.

Harbor Health ESP is ideal for adults over age 55 with chronic medical conditions because their medical care and social supports are comprehensively coordinated by one care team of physicians and medical professionals.  The teams meet at least twice a year with participants and their families to review any changes in their medical status and adapt the Care Plan to the participants changing needs.  The participant’s preferences and goals are at the center of the Care Plan development and medical care delivery.

What services are covered?

All medical and support services included in Medicare and Medicaid (MassHealth) program are incorporated in the Harbor Health ESP including;

  • Comprehensive Day Center offering traditional and memory care Day Center activities in addition to nursing, physical and occupational therapies, transportation, nutritional meals, and dietary counseling.
  • Primary care provided by an ESP geriatrician who in conjunction with the Care Teams, develops a care plan reflecting the needs and preferences of each participant.
  • Prescription drugs, therapies, immunizations and diagnostic testing.
  • Behavioral health, counselling and psychiatric services.
  • Medical specialties including audiology, dentistry, optometry, podiatry and physical and speech therapy.
  • End of life care similar to the Medicare Hospice Program
  • Hospital and nursing home care, when necessary.
  • When required, home health care and personal care

What is the difference between PACE and Harbor Health Elder Service Plan?

Harbor Health Elder Service Plan is a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a nationwide model of care designed to maintain elders with chronic medical conditions in the community, so they can live safely and independently as long as possible.

Do I have to change my doctor?

Yes, participants should plan to change physicians when they join the program.  The core of the Harbor Health ESP is the team approach to caring for a participant’s needs.  The Care Team provides comprehensive, well-coordinated, individualized medical care tailored to the participant’s requirements.

The Care Teams meet daily to review the patient’s progress and collaborate to address medical concerns which may arise.  This unique collaborative approach is only successful when a participant receives all of their care within the Harbor Health ESP program.  Therefore, participants do change physicians when they enroll in the PACE program.

The Harbor Health ESP model works well because Care Team is very familiar with the unique needs of their patients and the caregivers who support them.

How long has the Harbor Health ESP been servicing the community?

The Harbor Health ESP began  April 1996 at the former St Gregory’s School, a smaller location in Dorchester.  When we outgrew the renovated school building a new location was found on the Dorchester, Mattapan, Milton line.  Harbor Health ESP is a Medicare and Medicaid, (MassHealth) program of Harbor Health Services, Inc.

Harbor Health ESP is joined by 7 other PACE programs offering services in Massachusetts.

For more information regarding the PACE program, click here.

For more information regarding Harbor Health Services, Inc, click here.

What hospitals and specialists does Harbor Health ESP contract with?

Harbor Health ESP contracts with hospitals and specialists in our service area.  A complete list of contracted hospitals and providers is available from the enrollment team. Specialists outside of Harbor Health ESP are sometimes used on a case by case basis.

Upon enrollment, participants must receive all health care – other than emergency services – as authorized by Harbor Health ESP, or be fully and personally liable for costs of unauthorized services.    

Please speak with an enrollment team member regarding any questions you may have concerning existing relationships with medical providers outside of Harbor Health ESP.

What is your service area?

To enroll in the program a participant must reside in or be moving to one of the following cities Avon, Boston, Braintree, Canton, Dedham, Holbrook, Milton, Norwood, Newton, Quincy, Randolph, Sharon, Stoughton, Weymouth.

Do you provide home maker or personal care services?

When necessary, as determined by the Care Team, home care or personal care services are provided.   The care provided is task orientated and generally not appropriate for individuals needing 24-hour care to remain at home safely.

Does everyone attend the Day Center?  How many days a week do most participants attend?

Attendance at the Harbor Health Day Center varies by participant.  Depending on the participants needs and in coordination with the Care Team an attendance plan is developed and reviewed periodically.  We have participants who attend the center daily, others who attend a few days a week and still others who only attend when they are scheduled for medical appointments at the day center.

What do they do at the Day Center? Do I have to attend every day?

The Day Center has recreational activities, tasty meals, and socialization for participants. (Ask us for our calendar). Our clinicians and rehabilitation staff are located on-site at the Day Center.

Each case is reviewed on an individual basis to determine the ideal number of days of participation per week, which is then discussed with the family and the participant. Some participants come for appointments only others more frequently.
The monthly activities calendar, menu, and newsletter are located on the resource page. click here.

Where are the physicians and care team members located?  

The Care Teams are located at the Harbor Health ESP Day Center.  Participants attend the Day Center when they have medical appointments.  When participants have a scheduled appointment with a member of the Care Team transportation is provided both ways.  While at the Day Center participants enjoy hot meals and snacks, activities and socialization.

How do you work with assisted living facilities?  

We do contract with a few assisted living facilities, please contact the enrollment team to discuss the contracted facilities. We cover the cost of the home-care component in these settings. You are responsible for rent. For more information, contact the Elder Service Plan representative.

Is Harbor Health ESP a nursing home?

No, Harbor Health ESP is a Day Center and Medical Facility.   We do contract with skilled nursing facilities to ensure that our participants have access to that level of care should the need arise.  The listing of contacted facilities is located here (link to contracted facilities)

What is the cost??

We accept Medicare, Medicaid, (MASS Health), and private pay. For those eligible for Medicaid, there may be a monthly “spend down” due to financial criteria. The private payment or spend down amount is not affected by any change in the participant’s health status. Please talk to the enrollment team about your particular situation.

All Harbor Health ESP medical services are covered 100%, without copayment.

What if I decide I want to leave the program?

The Harbor Health ESP is a voluntary program.  After completing the enrollment process participants can choose to join the program on the first of the month.  Participants can choose to dis-enroll at any time.

Who pays for the program?

Harbor Health ESP is a Medicare/Medicaid funded program. Participants who are not Medicaid (MassHealth) eligible have the option to private pay.  Our enrollment specialists can discuss with you the enrollment process and the payment options including submitting an application for Medicaid if necessary.

How do you enroll?

Harbor Health ESP has a team of enrollment specialists to assist you with the enrollment process.  An overview of the process is available here.  Please contact Harbor Health ESP for more information. Contact Us.