Washington, DC (April 10, 2019) – The President of the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation (GAP), John Dwyer, today issued the following statement:
“The Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation thanks Commissioner Seema Verma and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for its thoughtful and impactful leadership in implementing policies that will improve Medicare Advantage beneficiaries’ ability to maintain their memory fitness by expanding supplemental benefits programs that will support memory fitness and brain health programs. In addition, Medicare Advantage has implemented changes in the 2020 payment schedule that will substantially improve the detection, diagnosis and care of patients with dementia. The policies are contained in the 2020 Medicare Advantage and Part D Rate Announcement and Final Call Letter announced April 1, 2019.
For far too long, the healthcare community has shied away from fully implementing a comprehensive approach to risk reduction and treatment programs for Alzheimer’s and related dementias similar to those available for other chronic diseases. CMS’s announced Medicare Advantage supplemental benefits policy changes encourage an increase in awareness and maintenance of brain health which allows beneficiaries to take proactive steps to maintain their cognitive health.
For the first time, CMS has identified dementia as a chronic disease that warrants a stand-alone risk adjustment payment like diabetes or hypertension. This recognizes the terrible toll dementia takes on patients and their families. The payment updates announced by CMS will allow millions of Americans in Medicare Advantage plans to be more timely assessed, diagnosed and treated for their dementia. The policies incentivize health care providers working with Medicare Advantage plans to diagnose dementia earlier and begin treatment sooner, resulting in better outcomes for the patient and the system. These policies also encourage more investment in better diagnostic and treatment technologies in the future.
GAP applauds CMS’s recent leadership. The Foundation and the 73 research centers in the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Network commit to promote and support the implementation of these important brain health and treatment changes for Medicare Advantage beneficiaries.
We also look forward to working directly with Medicare Advantage health plans to promote the memory fitness benefit and the enhanced dementia treatment programs that will be coming on line for the 2020 plan year.”
To read the full statement, click here.