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Alliance-Led Sign-On Letter Opposes Per Capita Caps, Stresses Their Impact on Individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias

Published June 22, 2017

United States Capitol Building with American flag.

June 22nd, 2017 – On the same day as the introduction of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, the Alliance for Aging Research and more than 30 other provider, patient, aging, disability, and health education nonprofit organizations sent a sign-on letter urging U.S. Senate and Senate Finance Committee leadership to “support, and build upon, existing state Medicaid expansion, and to oppose efforts to change Medicaid financing by limiting federal funding to states through per capita caps.”

The letter goes on to note: “We are concerned about the negative impact per capita caps will have on all citizens living with chronic disease, but we are writing to draw your attention to how devastating they will be on individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (AD/ADRD) and their family caregivers.”

The letter stresses that “per capita caps will likely increase costs to states for AD/ADRD care. Research cited by the Family Caregivers Alliance shows that when basic assistance for the needs of daily life is not available, frail elders wind up in high-cost settings—notably hospitals and nursing homes—and overall costs increase. Home care services, which help struggling AD/ADRD family caregivers to keep loved ones together, are at greatest risk of major cuts because home care services are optional under Medicaid while nursing home care is mandatory.”

Alliance for Aging Research President and CEO Susan Peschin, MHS, states: “Per capita caps would be devastating to people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. The proposed changes would force states to cut eligibility, reduce benefits, and lower provider reimbursement, particularly for high-cost enrollees who need substantial services under the program. It is easy to dehumanize health coverage issues and frame them in terms of cost savings. However, when you look through the lens of people with conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, it is harder to deny their real-world impact.”

Read the letter here.

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