P&T
Our
Other
Journal
MediMedia Managed Markets
Managed Care

 

Task Force Questions Dementia Screening

MANAGED CARE May 2014. © MediMedia USA
News & Commentary

Task Force Questions Dementia Screening

In a recent report, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) maintained that there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against screening for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) — dementia that does not interfere with the activities of daily life.

The Alzheimer’s Association has a different view. “Routine cognitive assessments are not screening, but are a way to detect change over time that could indicate underlying pathology,” Maria Carrillo, PhD, vice president for medical and scientific relations at the Alzheimer’s Association, told Medscape.

The USPSTF recommendation reiterates one it made in 2003, in which it said the same thing about dementia screening. The updated version, published March 25 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, looked at people 65 and older who are treated by primary care physicians and who have no symptoms of cognitive decline.

Screenings assess a patient’s memory, attention, language, and “visuospatial or executive functioning.”

The USPSTF determined that even if screening works, there’s not enough evidence that treatments would help, because “pharmacologic treatments result in small benefits of unknown clinical significance.”

Dementia affects approximately 2.4 to 5.5 million Americans, and its prevalence increases with age.

Estimated prevalence of mild cognitive impairment

“It is difficult to estimate the prevalence of MCI,” the USPSTF authors wrote, “and estimates range widely, from 3% to 42% in adults aged 65 and older.”

Dementia cost the health care system about $183 billion in 2011, with Medicare and Medicaid footing about 40% to 70% of that. “These costs do not include the estimated $202 billion in uncompensated care that informal caregivers provide annually,” according to the study.

Meetings

Pharmaceutical Pricing and Contracting Conference Philadelphia, PA September 22–23, 2014
Private Health Insurance Exchanges Conference Washington, D.C. October 7–8, 2014
National Healthcare Facility Management Summit Palm Beach, FL October 16–17, 2014
National Healthcare CFO Summit Las Vegas, NV October 19–21, 2014
National Healthcare CXO Summit Las Vegas, NV October 19–21, 2014
Innovative Member Engagement Operations For Health Plans Las Vegas, NV October 20–21, 2014
4th Partnering With ACOs Summit Los Angeles, CA October 27–28, 2014
2014 Annual HEDIS® and Star Ratings Symposium Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
PCMH & Shared Savings ACO Leadership Summit Nashville, TN November 3–4, 2014
World Orphan Drug Congress Europe 2014 Brussels, Belgium November 12–14, 2014
Medicare Risk Adjustment, Revenue Management, & Star Ratings Fort Lauderdale, FL November 12–14, 2014
Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Forum Alexandria, VA November 13–14, 2014
Home Care Leadership Summit Atlanta, GA November 17–18, 2014