Alzheimer’s Disease

Margaret Brackett - Contributing Columnist
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Alzheimer’s disease is the healthcare crisis of the 21st century. This week features the Alzheimer’s Association South Carolina Chapter, Sam Wiley, vice president of Programs, will contribute some information relating to care planning for people with cognitive impairment and some information on programs.

Cognitive impairment causes problems with a person’s thinking, communication, understanding or memory. It might be a short-term problem or a permanent condition. Alzheimer’s disease would be an example of permanent cognition impairment.

Beginning January 1, of his year Medicare has created a new billing code, known as GO505. Under this new billing code, Medicare provides a reimbursement to physicians and other clinicians for care planning services provided to individuals with cognitive impairment, including Alzheimer’s, other dementias or mild cognitive impairment.

It also includes those individuals without a clinical diagnosis who, in the judgment of the medical provider, are cognitively impaired.

Care planning allows newly diagnosed individuals and their caregivers to learn about medical and non-medical treatments. Particularly for those individuals that have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia.

Care planning also provides information for individuals and their families on the availability of clinical trials, and support services, in the community.

It is important for individuals living Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia to have proper care plan in place which will result in a higher quality of life. It is also important to remember if there is someone struggling with memory loss, it is best to speak with your doctor or medical provider with the new Medicare code. Cognitive impairment care planning would be a good start.

As always the Alzheimer’s Association South Carolina Chapter is one phone call or click away for anyone that has any questions or concerns. Contact them at 1-800-272-3900 day or night, or you can contact them on the web at www.alz org/sc.

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Margaret Brackett

Contributing Columnist

Margaret Brackett is from Newberry. Her columns appear weekly in The Newberry Observer.

Margaret Brackett is from Newberry. Her columns appear weekly in The Newberry Observer.