Alzheimer's disease and managed care: a convincing case for action.

Emerging Technology and Clinical Policy, Great-West Healthcare, Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111, USA.
Managed care interface 04/2007; 20(3):26-7.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT More than 4 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease (AD), and practitioners diagnose at least 400,000 news cases eachyear. Although the disease accounts for $24.6 billion in direct costs annually, it also generaites an additional $36.5 billion in indirect costs, including those attributed to lost productivityand absenteeism of caregivers for persons with AD. The increasing prevalence of AD will affect health plans with Medicare Advantage plans, as well as Medicare itself. Managed care faces challenges, both now and in the future, to deal with the effects of the disease.

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    ABSTRACT: Persons with various forms of dementia suffer from a progressive disease in which memory and the ability to function independently are lost. During moderate to late-stage dementia, individuals experience increased difficulty with eating and require more feeding assistance. Clinicians working with this population must acknowledge the multifactorial aspects of eating behavioral issues, use a team approach, and make careful assessments using appropriate instruments. Interventions should include attention to cognitive impairment, nutritional intake, training of caregivers, modification of the environment, and the quality of the interaction. Planning for care should include promoting the highest quality of life for these individuals and their caregivers. J Am Psychiatr Nurses Assoc, 2008; 13(6), 360-367.
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