Senators Markey, Stabenow, Collins, Capito Introduce Bipartisan HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Susan Collins (R-ME) andShelley Moore Capito (R-WV) today introduced bipartisan legislation to help combat Alzheimer's disease and support those suffering or caring for a family member with this devastating illness. The Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer's Act would provide Alzheimer's patients and their families with much-needed information about the disease and possible treatment options. The bill does this by creating a new care management planning session for newly diagnosed Alzheimer's patients under Medicare. Sens. Stabenow, Collins, Markey and Capito worked closely with the Alzheimer's Association, the world's leading voluntary health organization for Alzheimer's care, support and research, on the bill.

"The early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease can be terrifying for individuals and their families, especially when they don't know what's happening and don't have a diagnosis,"said Senator Stabenow. "The HOPE for Alzheimer's Act will give Alzheimer's patients and their families the information and support they need to cope with this heartbreaking disease. Because of the work being done by advocates like David Hyde Pierce and the Alzheimer's Association, this can be the year we have a real breakthrough in the fight against Alzheimer's."

"Earlier detection is key to helping the nearly half of Americans living with Alzheimer's disease who are going undiagnosed. A documented diagnosis means patients, caregivers and families can learn what treatments are available and plan for the challenges that lie ahead living with Alzheimer's disease. The HOPE for Alzheimer's Act gives patients exactly that, hope - for a diagnosis that will help them get connected to critical resources and manage other chronic conditions they are likely to face. I thank Senators Stabenow, Collins and Capito for their continued partnership on this legislation, and look forward to working with all of my colleagues to help support finding a cure to this devastating disease," said Senator Markey.

"Alzheimer's is a disease close to my heart, and we must work to improve its diagnosis and educate Americans about the treatment options available to them," said Senator Capito. "By expanding Medicare payments to assist newly diagnosed Alzheimer's patients in obtaining medical services through The HOPE for Alzheimer's Act, we can work to effectively combat this tragic disease."

"Under Senator Stabenow and the other leaders of this bill, HOPE for Alzheimer's will help ensure that the millions of families nationwide facing Alzheimer's disease receive critical care planning services, making a devastating diagnosis slightly more manageable," saidDavid Hyde Pierce, actor and Alzheimer's Association Honorary Board Member.

The bill 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. Over the years, studies have shown that providing patients and families with a full range of information and support results in better outcomes for those living with Alzheimer's, including higher quality of care, increased use of needed community services, reduced patient behavioral and psychiatric symptoms, and reduced caregiver stress and depression.