Medicare to Begin Covering New Care Plans in 2017
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) today announced that for the first time Medicare will pay for new individual care plans to support Alzheimer’s patients and their families. This new coverage will begin in January 2017. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid finalized its decision, first proposed earlier in July, to pay for the new plans, effectively implementing Senators Collins and Stabenow’s Health Outcomes, Planning and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer’s Act, which was coauthored by Senators Markey and Capito and cosponsored by 54 other Senators.
“Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that takes a tremendous personal and economic toll on millions of individuals as well as their family caregivers,” said Senator Collins. “As the Co-Chair of the Senate Alzheimer’s Task Force, I know the importance of ensuring that newly-diagnosed individuals and their families obtain essential support through care planning, which was one of the provisions of our HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act. I am pleased that CMS has recognized the importance of this benefit and will begin covering these services in 2017, which is a real breakthrough. I will continue to work to help Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers receive the support they need.”
“Today’s announcement will make a major difference in the lives of Alzheimer's patients and their loved ones who help care for them every day,” said Senator Stabenow. “My HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act called for new care plans to be developed for patients and their families, and I’m pleased Medicare will begin paying for this vital service for the first time ever in the New Year.”
The HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act requires Medicare to pay for an individual care plan for newly diagnosed Alzheimer's patients. This new benefit would encourage doctors to give a clear diagnosis to patients with Alzheimer’s disease, including information about treatment options and what medical and community services are available.