Sen. Stabenow introduces new bill aimed at improving care for Alzheimer’s patients

The bipartisan bill is expected to reduce medical complications for these patients by creating a new way to fund dementia care through Medicare.
Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 5:57 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (WLUC) - Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Wednesday introduced a new bill to help families across the country dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. 

Sen. Stabenow says The Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer’s Act would help the 95% of individuals with dementia that have one or more other chronic conditions, such as hypertension, heart disease and diabetes.

The bipartisan bill is expected to reduce medical complications for these patients by creating a new way to fund dementia care through Medicare. This new model of managing care can help reduce hospitalizations and emergency department visits and delay nursing home placement, which improves the quality of life for patients and makes treatment more affordable.

According to the senator’s release, one in ten seniors in the United States struggles with Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is expected to double to reach 14 million Americans in the next 30 years.

“The needs of someone with Alzheimer’s disease and their family members who are caring for them are unique and especially challenging. This bill takes a comprehensive approach in addressing these special health care needs. It creates a model for innovative planning, high standards of care and support for caregivers while reducing costs through better coordination,” said Sen. Stabenow.

“More than 6 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. The Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Chapter is grateful for the efforts of Senator Stabenow to better align the Medicare program to reflect health care needs of people living with dementia,” Jennifer Lepard, President and CEO, Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Chapter.

The Comprehensive Care for Alzheimer’s Act improves the lives of those living with Alzheimer’s disease. The bill would:

  • Provide comprehensive care management services, including monitoring of additional health conditions, medication management and care coordination.
  • Establish high standards of care by evaluating the quality of care provided to patients, including clinical outcomes, patient and caregiver experience, and utilization of care.
  • Eliminate cost-sharing for patients and pay providers a monthly amount based on the complexity and quality of the patient’s care. It would allow both large and small providers to participate, including hospitals, community health centers and rural health clinics.
  • Ensure that caregivers are supported and able to participate in the coordination and management of care.
  • Require outreach to underrepresented populations, as well as culturally appropriate care.

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