Walorski Introduces Bill to Bolster Alzheimer’s Care Planning

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Walorski Introduces Bill to Bolster Alzheimer’s Care Planning

Bipartisan Legislation Would Help Seniors and Families Plan After Dementia Diagnosis

WASHINGTON – U.S. Reps. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), Paul D. Tonko (D-N.Y.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), and Chris Smith (R-N.J.) this week introduced H.R. 1873, the Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act, bipartisan legislation that would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to inform health care providers about care planning benefits available through Medicare. The bill would also require HHS to identify other barriers individuals may be facing in accessing care planning.

“For Alzheimer’s patients, as well as their families and caregivers, care planning can make a real difference in their quality of life and help them get the best care possible,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Medicare coverage now includes comprehensive care planning so individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can learn about the treatments, services, and other supports available to them. The Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act will improve access to care planning by ensuring doctors and other medical providers are fully informed of the services they can provide under Medicare.”

“The Alzheimer’s Association and its advocacy arm, the Alzheimer’s Impact Movement (AIM), thank Rep. Walorski for working with Congress to provide the more than 5 million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s – including 110,000 in Indiana – and their more than 16 million unpaid caregivers with desperately-needed resources and support,” said Robert Egge, Alzheimer’s Association chief public policy officer and AIM executive director. “The Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act encourages doctors to talk to their patients about an Alzheimer’s diagnosis so that they and their families have the know-how and tools necessary to adequately adjust to and plan for their new reality.”

BACKGROUND

H.R. 1873 builds on the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act, which Walorski co-sponsored in the 114th Congress and which proposed improving Medicare coverage by creating a benefit for comprehensive care planning services following a dementia diagnosis. Unfortunately, many health care providers remain unaware that this benefit is available. As a result, many eligible Medicare beneficiaries are not receiving the assistance that a comprehensive care planning visit can provide. This legislation will increase access to this vital benefit by ensuring more providers are informed and ready to offer it.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.

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