June 26, 2015

During National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, Kaine Sponsors Bill For Expanded Access To Care Planning Resources

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, co-sponsored bipartisan legislation that would ensure patients and their families have access to a care planning session with their doctor to help them understand the diagnosis, treatment options, and what medical and community services are available when planning for Alzheimer’s disease. The HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act would increase access to information for newly diagnosed individuals and their families - providing essential support for those facing this devastating, debilitating disease. It would also ensure that an Alzheimer's or dementia diagnosis is documented in the individual's medical record.

“Due to our nation’s aging population, the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease will continue to grow if we do not work towards effectively treating and preventing this devastating disease,” said Kaine. “This bipartisan bill would strengthen Medicare by ensuring patients and their families have access to a care planning session with their doctor to help them understand the diagnosis, treatment options, and what medical and community services are available. By providing patients and families with a full range of information and support, we can work to alleviate the burden of Alzheimer’s on our health care system and families across Virginia and the country.”

Care planning services following a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease can provide much-needed information on treatments, services and supports that may help improve or maintain quality-of-life for the individual, their family and caregivers. The HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act builds upon existing Medicare coverage of a diagnosis and would provide the time doctors need to talk to their patients about an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

There are 32 cosponsors of the bipartisan Hope for Alzheimer’s Act, including Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Susan Collins (R-ME), Chris Coons (D-DE), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Angus King (D-ME), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Gary Peters (D-MI), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

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