The Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare is a triumph for people with Alzheimer’s Disease

One of the overlooked elements in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is that, beyond the individual mandate (and the politics), the act has a number of innovative ideas, and pilot programs easing the lives of people with serious health problems i.e. Alzheimer's Disease.

 

A pilot program for 10,000 people called the Independence At Home program. This is a technique first developed by the Veterans Administration — by which a patient with a chronic disease, like Alzheimer's Disease, is treated in his or her own home by a team of doctors, nurse practitioners, geriatric pharmacists, and any other health professional whose specialty is required. This is not only cost-efficient, being infinitely cheaper than hospitals and nursing homes, but it is a comfort for the patients and their families, for whom familiar surroundings can be essential for psychological well-being, in lieu of placement in a nursing home.

The program also recognizes the reality that a huge percentage of Medicare patients are suffering from two or three chronic conditions at the same time — Alzheimer's patients have heart disease, people with Parkinson's also have diabetes, etc. Basically, you have all these people with two or three chronic diseases, and nothing is coordinated. Therefore, patients are taking a huge amount of prescription drugs, without any for coordination of their care.

Alzheimer's patients are better treated at home, and with a team approach, to help manage symptoms they can no longer convey to their doctors or their families. The Supreme Court's decision is a triumph for them.

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