Senator Collins, Bipartisan Group Call for Expanded Access to Care and Resources for Families with Alzheimer’s

Senators Ask CMS to Launch Campaign to Educate Alzheimer’s Clinicians, Patients, and Families about Resources Available to Them

Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) led a bipartisan group of Senators in sending a letter urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to conduct an outreach campaign to educate clinicians, Medicare beneficiaries with cognitive impairment, and their families on the assessment and care planning services currently available to them.  Senator Angus King (I-ME) was among the group of 34 bipartisan Senators who signed onto the letter.

 

Thanks to a successful bipartisan push by Senators Collins, Stabenow, Markey, Capito, and Menendez, CMS announced in 2016 that Medicare would begin covering new care planning services in 2017, effectively implementing the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act. The lawmakers’ bipartisan Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act, which was introduced in March, requires the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct outreach to make more health care providers aware of this important benefit and to report back on rates of utilization and barriers to access.

 

“As you know, more than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and, without significant action, nearly 14 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s by 2050. Caring for those with Alzheimer’s will cost an estimated $290 billion in 2019, with Medicare and Medicaid bearing $195 billion--67 percent--of that figure. As the research community continues to search for a disease modifying therapy and better symptomatic treatments, CMS must do all it can to ensure the best quality of care and quality of life for those living with Alzheimer’s. Care planning is central to that effort,” the Senators wrote.

 

“Your leadership is critical to ensuring seniors living with cognitive impairment, including those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, have access to comprehensive care planning services,” the Senators continued.

 

The letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Jack Reed (D-RI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), James Lankford (R-OK), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Roy Blunt (D-MO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Martha McSally (R-AZ), John Boozman (R-AR), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Doug Jones (D-AL), Jon Tester (D-MT), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Chris Coons (D-DE), Gary Peters (D-MI), Tim Scott (R-SC), Deb Fischer (R-NE), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).

 

Click HERE to read the letter.