Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The Long Reach of Alzheimer’s

09.04.2014

To address the burgeoning demands of Alzheimer’s disease that will affect generations, new policies will have to be adopted to acknowledge the complex and unique needs of people with dementia.

The aging of the U.S. population has turned the prism to focus on the increasing number of families facing the challenge of providing care for people with dementia, said Julie P.W. Bynum, associate professor at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice.  Writing in the April issue of Health Affairs, she says the “long reach” of Alzheimer’s will have an affect on broad-based national policies that must be addressed sooner rather than later.

In one important way, Alzheimer’s disease is unlike the four chronic conditions that cause more deaths – heart disease, cancer, stroke and chronic pulmonary disease, Bynum says. With Alzheimer’s, there is no way to prevent or slow the disease’s progression. It is estimated that cases will increase from 3 million in 2011 to more than 10 million in 2050.

The most striking implications have to do with cost. Because the majority of the cases involve people over 65, Medicare bears the brunt of the costs. And, because patients often require long-term care and outlive their assets, Medicaid ends up paying for a large part of needed nursing home care.

The annual cost of providing care for all people over the age of 70 in the U.S. is estimated at $157-$215 billion in 2010. The direct cost is estimated to be $109 billion, higher than similar costs for heart disease or cancer ($102 billion and $77 billion respectively). By 2040, spending on dementia patients is estimated to be $1.2-$1.6 trillion, if no breakthrough therapies emerge.

Additional costs are borne by informal (unpaid) caregivers, such as spouses or family members, who provide basic daily care and a safe environment. But these caregivers present their own set of policy challenges with associated loss of work productivity and declines in their own health.

Alzheimer’s carries far-reaching implications for the policy community, as the impact of dementia reaches well beyond the individual patient and his or her caregivers, Bynum says.

The Policy Implications:

  • Science and technology. Funding policies are critical for research to close gaps in scientific knowledge about pathophysiological cause of the disease, how to prevent it, detect it early and accurately, and how to slow it, if not cure it.
  • Health care. Payment policy and regulatory functions in Medicare have direct implications for people living with dementia who are heavy users of hospital-based care.
  • Long-term services and supports. Payment policy for nursing homes and strategies to support community living are fundamental for people with late disease. About 75 percent of people with dementia will spend time in a nursing home at some point in their disease. Medicaid is the primary payer for two-thirds’ nursing home expenditures, which cause budgetary issues, especially for states.
  • Public health. Addressing healthy lifestyle and risk factors as well as community readiness are important for a population approach to managing the growing burden of dementia.
  • Housing and community services. Critically important to support for those who wish to remain in their homes, are services such as those related to the rights of the elderly, Meals on Wheels, caregiver support, adult day care and senior centers. These community services are less costly than nursing home care, but less visible to federal policy makers because they are organized on the local level.
  • Labor.  New policies may be required to address the challenge of ensuring a competent and adequate workforce, especially for hands-on caregivers, such as personal care assistants, home health aides, and nursing assistants.
  • Justice and law enforcement. Relevant policies in the legal and law enforcement arena address issues that arise with substituted judgment and the need to provide protection from exploitation, abuse and neglect.

“Patients’ complex and expensive care needs and increasing numbers of people with dementia underscore the need to pay greater attention to how society protects and provides services for this vulnerable population at a cost that is sustainable, all while continuing to pursue treatments and cures.” Bynum said.

To view the abstract of the Viewpoint in Health Affairs, please go to http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/33/4/534.abstract

The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice was founded in 1988 by Dr. John E. Wennberg as the Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences (CECS). Among its 25 years of accomplishments, it has established a new discipline and educational focus in the Evaluative Clinical Sciences, introduced and advanced the concept of shared decision-making for patients, demonstrated unwarranted variation in the practice and outcomes of medical treatment, developed the first comprehensive examination of US health care variations (The Dartmouth Atlas), and has shown that more health care is not necessarily better care. 

Contact:

Annmarie Christensen
Annmarie.Christensen@dartmouth.edu
603-653-0897
802-249-8795 (cell)

Annmarie Christensen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://tdi.dartmouth.edu/press/press-releases/the-long-reach-of-alzheimers

Further reports about: Alzheimer’s Dartmouth Medicare dementia implications pulmonary regulatory

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Exploring a new frontier of cyber-physical systems: The human body
18.05.2015 | National Science Foundation

nachricht Soft-tissue engineering for hard-working cartilage
18.05.2015 | Technische Universitaet Muenchen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Basel Physicists Develop Efficient Method of Signal Transmission from Nanocomponents

Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. The scientists at the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have published their results in the scientific journal “Nature Communications” together with their colleagues from ETH Zurich.

Electronic components are becoming smaller and smaller. Components measuring just a few nanometers – the size of around ten atoms – are already being produced...

Im Focus: IoT-based Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation System

Development and implementation of an advanced automobile parking navigation platform for parking services

To fulfill the requirements of the industry, PolyU researchers developed the Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation Platform, which includes smart devices,...

Im Focus: First electrical car ferry in the world in operation in Norway now

  • Siemens delivers electric propulsion system and charging stations with lithium-ion batteries charged from hydro power
  • Ferry only uses 150 kilowatt hours (kWh) per route and reduces cost of fuel by 60 percent
  • Milestone on the road to operating emission-free ferries

The world's first electrical car and passenger ferry powered by batteries has entered service in Norway. The ferry only uses 150 kWh per route, which...

Im Focus: Into the ice – RV Polarstern opens the arctic season by setting course for Spitsbergen

On Tuesday, 19 May 2015 the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its home port in Bremerhaven, setting a course for the Arctic. Led by Dr Ilka Peeken from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) a team of 53 researchers from 11 countries will investigate the effects of climate change in the Arctic, from the surface ice floes down to the seafloor.

RV Polarstern will enter the sea-ice zone north of Spitsbergen. Covering two shallow regions on their way to deeper waters, the scientists on board will focus...

Im Focus: Gel filled with nanosponges cleans up MRSA infections

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a gel filled with toxin-absorbing nanosponges that could lead to an effective treatment for skin and wound infections caused by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This "nanosponge-hydrogel" minimized the growth of skin lesions on mice infected with MRSA - without the use of antibiotics. The researchers recently published their findings online in Advanced Materials.

To make the nanosponge-hydrogel, the team mixed nanosponges, which are nanoparticles that absorb dangerous toxins produced by MRSA, E. coli and other...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International symposium: trends in spatial analysis and modelling for a more sustainable land use

20.05.2015 | Event News

15th conference of the International Association of Colloid and Interface Scientists

18.05.2015 | Event News

EHFG 2015: Securing health in Europe. Balancing priorities, sharing responsibilities

12.05.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Mesoporous Particles for the Development of Drug Delivery System Safe to Human Bodies

22.05.2015 | Materials Sciences

Computing at the Speed of Light

22.05.2015 | Information Technology

Development of Gold Nanoparticles That Control Osteogenic Differentiation of Stem Cells

22.05.2015 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>