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 AHCA/NCAL Offers Support for Dementia Infrastructure Legislation

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) has signed a letter in support of the BOLD Act, a bipartisan bill that would apply a public health approach for the prevention, treatment, and care of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

BOLD, which stands for Building Our Largest Dementia Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act (S 2076/HR 4256), would have the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spearhead a modern infrastructure to tackle dementia. The proposal would provide resources to state and local public health officials to increase early detection and diagnosis, reduce risk, prevent avoidable hospitalizations, decrease health care disparities, support caregivers, and care plan for those living with dementia.

After passing the full Senate on Dec. 12, the bill now heads to the House for consideration.

Other provisions of the legislation would allow for the collection of data on cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s caregivers to help identify the impact of dementia in the states and aid in how to treat and manage the disease.

More than 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s, and the United States spends more than $277 billion per year, including $186 billion in costs to Medicare and Medicaid, the letter said. The number of Americans with Alzheimer’s is expected to triple to as many as 14 million by 2050, costing more than $1.1 trillion per year.

The letter, signed by Mark Parkinson, president and chief executive officer of AHCA/NCAL, and Scott Tittle, executive director of NCAL, was sent to the chair of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.), vice chair of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

A mixture of Republicans and Democrats support the legislation, with Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) having joined Collins in introducing S 2076.  

On the House side, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Guthrie and Reps. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), and Christopher Smith (R-N.J.) introduced a companion bill in the House where it has 251 co-sponsors.

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