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The Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer’s Act, explained

David Cook, Public Policy Manager of Alzheimer’s Association - Arkansas Chapter, joins Theba Lolley to break down the Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer’s Act.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer’s Act asks the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to test a dementia care management model that provides comprehensive care to Medicare beneficiaries with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia.

Dementia care management is a model that is proven to reduce healthcare costs and improve the quality of life for individuals living with dementia and their caregivers. 

“The Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer’s Act  is certainly an important piece of legislation that’s currently moving through Congress,” says David Cook. “We are very thankful for the support that Senator Boozman has expressed for this piece of legislation by joining as co-sponsor.”

More than 95 percent of individuals with dementia actually have other chronic conditions, which poses many unique challenges regarding care.

"Often caregivers are left to navigate a very complicated healthcare maze to make sure all of the issues are being addressed, says Cook. "Individuals with dementia rely heavily on family members to provide a large amount of care. Too often, those with Alzheimer’s are left to fend for themselves."

Dementia care management enables individuals to more seamlessly navigate a complicated healthcare system.

"Under our current system, a doctor provides services and is reimbursed for those services," says Cook. "There is really no incentive for them to do a comprehensive approach to dementia."

Under the dementia care management model, a provider would have an annual payment per patient for all services provided. This would improve outcomes for people with dementia, and also help caregivers with support, education and access to different services.

Cook explains that more support is needed for this bill.

"We couldn’t do our job without critical voices like you who are sharing their stories and experiences with Alzheimer’s and dementia," says Cook. "We certainly encourage your viewers to contact their members of Congress and ask them to support this legislation here."

Alzheimer's Association is available to talk with you about what you may be going through. The 24/7 helpline number is 1-800-272-3900 and resources are available on their website and Facebook page.

Credit: Alzheimer's Association - Arkansas Chapter