Massachusetts

MASSACHUSETTS 2019 STATE POLICY PRIORITIES

Increase Public Awareness, Early Detection And Diagnosis

Reaching Underserved Populations.

Alzheimer's disease and other dementias disproportionately impact diverse communities. Specifically, the Latino/Hispanic and black/African American communities are up to two-times more likely to develop the disease and diverse populations are often diagnosed later in the disease process. By continuing to partner with state government and the Department of Public Health on culturally appropriate public health campaigns, we will continue to bring much needed support to these communities, while bringing their voice to Beacon Hill.

Increase Public Awareness, Early Detection And Diagnosis

Reaching Underserved Populations.

Alzheimer's disease and other dementias disproportionately impact diverse communities. Specifically, the Latino/Hispanic and black/African American communities are up to two-times more likely to develop the disease and diverse populations are often diagnosed later in the disease process. By continuing to partner with state government and the Department of Public Health on culturally appropriate public health campaigns, we will continue to bring much needed support to these communities, while bringing their voice to Beacon Hill.

Increase Access to Home and Community-Based Services

Increasing Access to Home and Community Based Services.

Over the next seven years, the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's and other dementias in Massachusetts is projected to increase by 25%. This is not an issue that is going away, and Massachusetts needs to maintain valuable services such as Adult Day Health to help with the care of these individuals. In addition to Adult Day Health, supporting and maintaining a robust home care program here in Massachusetts is vital to families living with Alzheimer's and other dementias. Securing additional funding and working with our partner organizations and state agencies, remains a top priority for the Alzheimer's Association.

Increase Access to Home and Community-Based Services

Improving Dementia Care in Senior Care Options (SCOs)

Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias pose significant challenges for both the person living with the disease and their family caregivers. Alzheimer’s is the most expensive disease in America and caring for people with Alzheimer’s and other comorbidities (i.e. chronic diseases) demonstrates both a difficult and costly health care challenge. If caregivers are not promptly connected with quality care and support services, their ability to successfully manage the dementia of their loved ones as well as other chronic illnesses will be compromised. One in 10 people age 65 and older (10 percent) has Alzheimer's dementia. The MassHealth Senior Care Options (SCO) program is a comprehensive health plan that covers all of the services reimbursable under Medicare and MassHealth through a senior care organization and its network of providers. The SCO program offers MassHealth Standard members aged 65 or older quality health care that combines health services with social support services. In Massachusetts there are six SCO providers and many of their members are struggling with cognitive impairment/dementia. Massachusetts Senior Care Option (SCO) plans provide health care coverage for 54,000 low income seniors. Dementia Care Coordination (DCC) is a evidence-informed, proactive care consultation service providing vital support to families caring for a loved one with dementia. Pioneered by the Alzheimer’s Association of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, this innovative service is initiated by a referral from a clinical provider and results in a family care consultation with a trained dementia expert, an individualized care plan and connection to a range of family caregiver support services. Quality support for family caregivers makes a significant difference in the ability to manage both the dementia and other chronic diseases of loved ones. Published studies have shown that interventions such as DCC not only improve the quality of life for people with dementia, but are also cost effective; reducing unnecessary re-hospitalizations and emergency department visits, improving the management of other chronic illnesses and reducing premature nursing home placement. This legislation requires that all Massachusetts Senior Care Options plans provide Dementia Care Coordination (DCC) to SCO members that have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Enhance the Quality of Care in Residential Settings

Equal Services for Younger-Onset Alzheimer's

There are thousands of Massachusetts residents under age 65 who have Alzheimer's disease. Certain genetic forms of the disease can manifest in people as young as 30 years old. Younger people with Alzheimer's face special challenges, such as raising young children, being forced to change jobs or retire in the middle of their careers, and obtaining benefits not normally available to people under age 60. We are supporting legislation that would provide persons diagnosed with younger-onset Alzheimer's the same services made available to those over the age of 60 who have a diagnosis.



Massachusetts State Plan Overview

In 2010, Governor Deval Patrick directed the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, in partnership with the Alzheimer's Association Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter, to draft a state plan addressing Alzheimer's disease within the state. In response, these two agencies convened an Advisory Committee that included families and individuals impacted by the disease as well as representatives from state and local health and human services agencies, councils on aging, academia, public safety agencies, and professional caregiver associations. Gathering public input, the Advisory Committee published the Massachusetts Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders State Plan in February 2012.



ADVOCACY EVENTS

Massachusetts State Advocacy Day

June 18, 2019

In Massachusetts alone, 130,000 people are currently living with Alzheimer's and dementia. This number is only projected to increase in the coming years. Join us as we work to address Alzheimer's in the Commonwealth by sharing your story with your state legislators, and highlighting that Alzheimer's is a public health crisis that needs to be addressed. Thanks to the work of the Massachusetts legislature, Massachusetts continues to be on the forefront of healthcare, and, because of your support on H.4116 during the last legislative session, a leader on a national level. Let's keep this momentum moving as we build upon last year's success with two new exciting and critically important policy priorities. Show up. Speak out. Share your story. Lend your voice to those who cannot give theirs.


2020 Advocacy Forum

March 22-24, 2020 alz.org/forum

As an Alzheimer's advocate, you've worked to advance critical public policy, making a difference in the lives of all those impacted by Alzheimer's. Together we've achieved great increases in federal Alzheimer's research funding and secured critical advances in care and support. But we can't take our successes for granted — we need to keep the pressure on.

Join us in Washington for an inspiring three-day event filled with networking, training and education.

Be part of the movement that's making a difference in the fight against Alzheimer's.


Sign Up to Learn More About Advocacy Opportunities in Massachusetts


Sign me up to participate in the upcoming State Advocacy Day!

State Affairs Contact Daniel Zotos | 6173932011 | [email protected]



Elected Officials

Enter your address here to see your elected officials' positions on Alzheimer's and ways you can contact them to support the Alzheimer's community.



Alzheimer's Facts and Figures in Massachusetts

Number of People Aged 65 and Older With Alzheimer's by Age

Year 65-74 75-84 85+ TOTAL
* Totals may not add due to rounding
2019 18,000 52,000 58,000 130,000
2025 21,000 68,000 61,000 150,000

Percentage change from 2019

Medicaid

$1.696

BILLION

Medicaid costs of caring for people with Alzheimer's (2019)

18.4%

change in costs from 2019 to 2025


Medicare

$28,996

per capita Medicare spending on people with dementia (in 2018 dollars)


HOSPICE (2016)

6,763

#

of people in hospice have a primary diagnosis of dementia


23%

of people in hospice with a primary diagnosis of dementia

Hospitals (2015)

1,504

#

of emergency department visits per 1,000 people with dementia


22.5%

dementia patient hospital readmission rate

Caregiving

340,000

Number of Caregivers

387,000,000

Total Hours of Unpaid Care

$4,889,000,000

Total Value of Unpaid Care

$324,000,000

Higher Health Costs of Caregivers

Number of Deaths from Alzheimer's Disease (2017)

1,841

6th leading cause of death in Massachusetts

For more information, view the 2019 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report at alz.org/facts.


U.S. Statistics

Over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, and as many as 14 million will have the disease in 2050. The cost of caring for those with Alzheimer's and other dementias is estimated to total $290 billion in 2019, increasing to $1.1 trillion (in today's dollars) by mid-century. Nearly one in every three seniors who dies each year has Alzheimer's or another dementia.



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