Over the last week, we've seen incredible efforts from the Alzheimer's community to tell the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) why it ought to offer Medicare coverage for an important test that could help diagnose Alzheimer's disease. Advocacy organizations are collecting comments from people all over the country to submit to CMS, showing the agency exactly why early, accurate Alzheimer's diagnosis matters so much to millions of Americans and their loved ones.
In fact, CMS has already received four times the number of comments it usually does--and it's up to us to take that number even higher! You can do so by signing the USAgainstAlzheimer's petition today. They will submit your comment to CMS on your behalf before officials make a final decision about Medicare coverage.
Here are some other efforts we want to highlight:
- The Alzheimer's Association and USAgainstAlzheimer's are leading coalitions of advocates, researchers, and family members of Alzheimer's patients who are sharing their personal experiences with dementia diagnosis. We encourage you to share your story with USAgainstAlzheimer's today!
- The Alliance for Aging Research encouraged its members to submit their comments to CMS and pointed out an alarming fact: if CMS does not reverse its decision, it will require data that will take another 7-10 years to produce--during which time another two million people will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
- Mary Grealy, president of the Healthcare Leadership Council, wrote a blog post about the CMS decision in The Hill. She raises a great point about the importance of investing in tests and tools that will help healthcare providers and patients identify the right treatment for the right patients. As more and more Americans develop Alzheimer's--and the Alzheimer's Association predicts that up to 16 million people will be diagnosed by 2060--it will become even more critical to provide early, accurate diagnosis.
- Even Congress cares about this issue. Rep. Chris Smith and Rep. Maxine Waters, co-chairs of the Congressional Taskforce on Alzheimer's Disease, wrote a letter to the director of CMS urging him to reconsider the agency's decision and to consider how important an Alzheimer's diagnosis is to patients and their families. They also point out that an early and accurate Alzheimer's diagnosis is one of the goals of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease. (You can find out more about the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease here).
We want to send a huge thank you to the organizations above and everyone who has already shared their experience with Alzheimer's. It's not too late to join us: visit USAgainstAlzheimer's today and tell them your story. Every comment counts!