As you age, your risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia increases.
Do you have a loved one whose memory is not what it used to be?
Do you suspect he or she may have dementia or Alzheimer’s?
How can you know?
Does Medicare pay for those tests?
According to a recent Santa Cruz Sentinel article titled “Diagnosing Alzheimer’s: Medicare now pays doctors to stop and assess memory loss,” it does.
It took advocates many years, but Medicare will now reimburse physicians who run these tests on patients with cognitive impairments.
Why is this important news?
The numbers are expected to grow with nearly 50 million projected to have the disease in 2050.
The costs are also daunting.
Nearly $236 billion was paid for care in 2016.
In 2050, the estimated costs are $1.1 trillion.
Many people do not know when a loved one has the disease.
About half of Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s are not diagnosed.
Maybe the incentive of reimbursement will encourage physicians to provide evaluation and care coordination.
Diagnosing early and creating a plan benefits Alzheimer’s patients and their family members.
Looking for mild cognitive problems is important because medications work best in the early stages of the disease.
It is vital for primary care physicians to be able to assess their patients for such symptoms.
If you have a family member who may have dementia or Alzheimer’s, go see a physician and educate yourself.
There are plenty of organizations willing to help.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Santa Cruz Sentinel (January 7, 2017) “Diagnosing Alzheimer’s: Medicare now pays doctors to stop and assess memory loss”