Need for cognitive assessments missing from home- and community-based Medicaid regulations, group says

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Regulations issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services concerning Medicaid coverage for home- and community-based services has been too vague for Alzheimer's advocates.

In April, CMS issued regulations designed to give Medicaid beneficiaries more options for care. However, in a letter to CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, the Alzheimer's Foundation of America said the proposed rule lacked language about the need for face-to-face cognitive assessments for potential HCBS beneficiaries.

CMS should add language that “specifically addresses the need to assess cognitive impairment. Individuals performing such assessments will need to be sufficiently trained. Many individuals with dementia, moreover, need supervision and cueing or are unable to perform instrumental activities of daily living,” the group wrote in its letter.

They added that failing to assess these individuals for cognitive impairment could result in under-diagnosis and misdiagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.

Click here to read the letter.