Davis Enterprise: The diagnosis is Alzheimer’s; what now?

May 12, 2017

You have known for some time that things were not quite right. The time had finally come to take Dad to the physician. You are mentally preparing for a diagnosis you have dreaded hearing out loud and have been denying for years.

“Mr. Jones, your father has Alzheimer’s disease,” says the physician. What now?

Until last year, many physicians would deliver this devastating and life-altering news and then move on to the next patient and their family — without spending the time necessary or being reimbursed for the long discussion and many questions that families have after receiving this diagnosis.

In January 2016, thanks to the advocacy of family caregivers and the Alzheimer’s Association, Congress added a medical reimbursement code so a physician or their professional surrogate could help families get their questions answered, develop a care plan and begin to prepare.

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