A critical step in meeting the needs of the growing aging population is early recognition of cognitive decline. By 2040, the number of Californians aged 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to more than double. Californians who live to be 65 or older have a one in five chance of developing any type of dementia.
Dementia Care Aware is a training and support program led by the California Department of Health Care Services and the University of California, San Francisco that empowers primary care providers and their teams to meet this need and assess and address dementia early.
Dementia Care Aware allows providers to receive a $29 payment for screening certain Medi-Cal patients for dementia, after completing a training and conducting a Cognitive Health Assessment with their patients. The Cognitive Health Assessment, which is a 5 to 10-minute screening, can fit into several types of visits – including routine visits, Medicare Annual Wellness Visits (AWV), and during Health Risk Assessments – and can satisfy the required AWV cognitive impairment screening. The training for providers is offered as an online course and as monthly virtual training webinars.
Dementia Care Aware also provides additional training on important topics and resources for the next steps in evaluation and care planning with patients including tools for implementing dementia detection and care in clinical practice and connecting patients and care partners to community resources.
Learn more about Dementia Care Aware at DementiaCareAware.org. For questions or to request a training, please email DCA@ucsf.edu.