New nationwide model to improve Alzheimer’s care keeps healthcare professionals optimistic

New nationwide model to improve Alzheimer's care keeps healthcare professionals optimistic
Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 7:17 AM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Alzheimer’s care has been a problem for the state of South Dakota.

But a new nationwide model to improve care for those who need it has healthcare professionals optimistic.

This summer, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a voluntary guide with the hopes of creating streamlined care for Alzheimer’s patients.

This guide plans to instill better reimbursement models for patients and their caregivers with a proposed 121% increase in reimbursement rates.

South Dakota healthcare professionals and advocates believe this guide has the potential to fix systemic issues and reduce stress for patients and caregivers but want to see it in action.

“Really it needs to be addressing the disparities that we see in health care,” said Senior Health Systems Director for the Alzheimer’s Association Lisa Groon.

“Making sure that we’re eliminating barriers to care, making sure that we’re offering education to both patients, caregivers, and clinicians related to best practices for navigation models of care.”

There are many difficulties that come with getting people with Alzheimer’s the proper care that they need. But it’s important to know that there’s always help.

The Adult Day Center of the Black Hills is one place that offers help. It has a similar goal to this new guide... which is to relieve the stress of patients and their caregivers.

“Caregiving is exhausting, and everyone deserves a mental break, a physical break from it,” said executive director of the Adult Day Center Black Hills Melanie Barclay.

“Caregivers and their loved ones trying to keep them out of long-term care facilities and provide an alternative for home health.”

Earlier this year the South Dakota legislature approved $2 million to expand adult day service programs just like the one in Rapid City.

And with reimbursement rates up 121% it looks as though the patients and caregivers are starting to get the help they need.