Senator Stabenow: For First Time, Medicare to Pay for New Care Plans to Provide Support to Families of Alzheimer’s patients

Medicare to Begin Covering New Care Plans in 2017—Effectively Implementing Sen. Stabenow’s HOPE Act

Thursday, November 03, 2016

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) 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 Senator Stabenow’s Health Outcomes, Planning and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer’s Act. The HOPE Act is coauthored by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and cosponsored by 54 other Senators. 

“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 Alzheimer’s Association and our advocates have worked closely with Senator Stabenow to advance the HOPE for Alzheimer's Act and appreciate her tireless work to grow support for this critical legislation,” said Robert Egge, Chief Public Policy Officer Alzheimer's Association. “The new rule by CMS will allow healthcare practitioners to provide vital information on treatments, services and support that can positively affect quality-of-life for the individual, their family and caregivers, as outlined in the HOPE for Alzheimer's Act.”

Senator Stabenow’s 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.