Caring for an individual living with Alzheimer's or another dementia poses unique challenges. Dementia care management can ease these challenges, improve quality of care and reduce costs. Unfortunately, dementia care management programs have not developed within the current Medicare fee-for-service system. Thankfully, AIM and the Alzheimer's Association are working with congressional champions to advance the bipartisan Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer's Act (S. 1125/H.R. 2517).
To address the complexity and obstacles individuals and caregivers currently face when navigating dementia care, this bipartisan legislation would ask the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to test a different payment structure for dementia care management. The model will test comprehensive care services, which would include a dementia care plan, care coordination and navigation, caregiver education and support, and access to an interdisciplinary team of providers. Additionally, this model would allow dementia care management programs to be financially feasible for health care providers and practices; especially for smaller practices, rural practices, and inner-city community health centers.
Introduced by Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.) in the Senate and Reps. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), and Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) in the House of Representatives, the Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer's Act has the potential to streamline today's complicated health care maze for people living with dementia and their caregivers. That could mean higher quality care at a lower cost.
Thanks to our advocates, the Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer's Act has already gained significant support in Congress, with 85 cosponsors in the House and 22 in the Senate. By telling their story and explaining how this legislation will improve the lives of those living with Alzheimer's and their loved ones, advocates like Aimee Isaac of Delaware and Julie Rivers of Massachusetts are fighting for this better path for dementia care. In addition, over 20 organizations throughout the nation have joined in this effort, including Milken Institute Alliance to Improve Dementia Care and Gerontological Society of America.
Now we need your help. Join us in urging Congress to cosponsor this bipartisan legislation by recording a video to share your experience with dementia care for you, your loved ones, or your patients that you can send to your member of Congress. Together, we can urge the House and Senate to advance the Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer's Act and improve the quality of care for those living with Alzheimer's.
To take further action to grow support for this important bill visit: alzimpact.org/priorities/comprehensive_act