UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program: Cost Analysis and Support Guide

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The Alzheimer's and Dementia Care (ADC) program at the University of California, Los Angeles, provides comprehensive, coordinated, patient-centered care designed to maximize patient function, independence, and dignity while also minimizing caregiver burnout and unnecessary costs. Funded in part by a 2012 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Innovation Challenge Award, the ADC program focuses on caregiver training and support and relies on nurse practitioners to serve as dementia care managers. Key intervention components include: structured needs assessments of patients and their caregivers; individualized care plans; ongoing monitoring and revising of care plans; and 24/7 access to assistance and advice. While based in a health care system, the program works closely with community-based organizations. The ADC program's proof of concept was evaluated as part of its Innovation Challenge Award. Initial results indicate improvements in quality of care, better clinical outcomes for patients and caregivers, and reduced costs for Medicare. Additional analytical work is now needed to improve the program's targeting of patients, determine cost-effectiveness, and accelerate broad adoption. Principal investigator David Reuben, M.D., will conduct a series of analyses to assess which patients are most likely to benefit from the intervention; program cost-effectiveness; and expected return-on-investment for adopting organizations. In addition, Reuben's team will develop a guide to help health systems with the decision-making process and with implementation of the model. The UCLA team is best positioned to conduct these second-order analyses and work with an external consultant to translate the findings. To mitigate potential bias, an independent evaluator will be assigned to review the methods and analyses throughout the course of the project. This project will provide health care organizations with the range of evidence and guidance needed to make informed decisions about adopting a program that has shown great potential to improve dementia care and raise outcomes for patients and their caregivers.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles
Principal Investigator:
David Reuben, M.D.
Award Amount:
$365,000.00
Approval Date:
April 11, 2017

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