Letters to the Editor

Freston letter: Alzheimer’s Act

I am grateful that our Senator, Mike Crapo, has co-sponsored a bill that will help Alzheimer’s patients and their families.

I have worked with Alzheimer’s clients throughout my career in long-term care. I see how devastating Alzheimer’s is for a family and how few resources are available to help.

The HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act is a bill to provide better care planning after a patient receives an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. All too often we hear that after all the testing and diagnosis is done the physician gives the patient and family no guidance for the future.

The Alzheimer’s Association released a report in 2015 showing that only 45 percent of Alzheimer’s patients are told of their diagnosis, versus over 90 percent of people diagnosed with the four most common types of cancer.

Physicians are not properly reimbursed for taking the time to consult with patients and caregivers to explain an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. This bill would cover that time, and also launch education for physicians about the coverage.

Crapo wisely recognizes this is a problem and that Congress needs to respond. Please urge the rest of our Idaho Delegation: Sen. Jim Risch, and Reps. Mike Simpson and Raul Labrador to co-sponsor the HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act.

Cody Freston, Boise