WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP), and the Special Committee on Aging, announced her co-sponsorship of the Improving HOPE (Health, Outcomes, Planning, and Education) for Alzheimer’s Act. This legislation would work to increase the utilization of care planning resources among Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers.
“As a caregiver to my parents and in-laws, I’ve seen firsthand the effect that Alzheimer's has on families,” said Senator Rosen. “This legislation will allow for greater access to resources for use in the prevention, treatment, and care of those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. I’ll continue working in Congress to provide greater access to coordinated and comprehensive care for patients and their families.”
BACKGROUND: This bill would require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide outreach to health care practitioners about comprehensive Alzheimer’s disease care planning services, including education initiatives, and materials on diagnostic evaluations. Medicare covers the cost of individual care plans for newly-diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients. This benefit encourages doctors to take additional time with Alzheimer’s patients and their families to create a care plan and fully discuss treatment options and what community services are available.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced in November 2016 that Medicare would begin covering new care plans in 2017, however, less than one percent of seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease received the care planning benefit.
Last Congress, then-Congresswoman Rosen co-sponsored the Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, legislation that would provide funding to state and public health departments to implement effective interventions to promote early detection and diagnosis and reduce risk. The Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act was signed in to law this past December.