I Want To Know: Early Diagnosis for Alzheimer's Patients

A decision made by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services earlier this month could have consequences for older Americans and healthcare providers who are searching for ways to diagnose Alzheimer's disease.

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CMS - the agency that approves what is and is not covered under Medicare - recently issued a draft decision that would not approve coverage under your Medicare plan for a groundbreaking new test that could help lead to earlier and more accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer' disease.

However, the decision is not final--which means you have the opportunity to make a difference. You can urge CMS to reverse its decision and improve care for Alzheimer's patients by sharing your story with the Alzheimer's Association today.

Time is short. We only have until August 2. Here's what you can do TODAY:

  1. Tell the Government: "I Want to Know." Visit the Alzheimer's Association's online petition to share your personal story and express the importance of an early and accurate Alzheimer's diagnosis. These comments will be submitted to government agencies and elected officials before CMS makes a final decision about whether or not to approve coverage.
  2. Tell Your Friends: #IWantToKnow. Stories matter. Share your own story with your friends on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #IWantToKnow and let your friends know why an early, accurate Alzheimer's diagnosis is important to you and your family. Encourage them to sign the petition by including this link: http://bit.ly/1aL062R.

Over 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, but as many as half have never received an accurate diagnosis. However, getting an accurate diagnosis is critical to improving the quality of life for patients and their families. According to experts from the Alzheimer's Association,

An early or accurate diagnosis allows individuals with the disease and their caregivers to better manage medications and other chronic conditions, receive counseling, engage in financial and long-term care planning, and consider all medical and non-medical treatments and supports--including participation in appropriate clinical trials.

Let's make sure CMS knows how important this test would be to you and others affected by Alzheimer's before August 2. It's the only way to get coverage of this important new test approved.