Over the last several years, strides have been made to improve healthcare and dementia care across the US. Several things have come together:
- The Affordable Care Act (ACA) opened up new avenues of efficient healthcare for recipients and their providers to give and receive accessible, good quality healthcare.
- A major focus of health policy management is to improve the coordination of care, promote wellness and the management of chronic illness, and reduce hospitalizations.
- According to Healthy People 2020, one of their primary goals for persons living with dementia is to prevent unnecessary hospitalizations.
And in October 2014, a new law was passed: The Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act (IMPACT Act
). The purpose of the IMPACT Act is to protect clients’ choice and to streamline service provision. According to CMS
, the act requires standardized reporting of quality measures in areas such as function, cognition, skin integrity, major falls, patient preference, and medication reconciliation.
This act offers tremendous value that you can achieve for clients with Alzheimer's/dementia.
It’s based on the expectation that each person with dementia will be assessed as a whole, rather than as the sum of various diseases. It’s also based on the guiding principle of patient choice, which is exactly what you can enable as a person-centered, Dementia Capable organization.
The IMPACT Act also requires that patient assessment data used in post-acute care settings (such as skilled nursing facilities, home health, rehab facilities, etc.) be standardized. With Dementia Capable Care
, OTs and other healthcare professionals use standardized assessment tools that are science-driven and evidence-based. A Dementia Capable professional is skilled at using these tools to assess a person's functional cognition, its impact on their activities of daily living and instrumental ADLs, and the remaining abilities they possess at each stage of dementia. With the Cognitive Disabilities Model
and these standardized assessments and skilled interventions, professionals provide efficacious and cost-effective services that are person-centered.
With 11% of the population age 65 and older, and 32% age 85 and older living with dementia, it is crucial for facilities to have staff skilled up to assess and report on functional cognition. To meet the legislative requirements of the IMPACT Act, facilities must be prepared with the knowledge and skills to treat the population living with dementia.
The time is now to equip staff with skills to make a positive impact on clients’ function, cognition, and mental health—and to adhere to the IMPACT Act. Give us a call at 888.426.2184 to learn more about how we can help.
- Alzheimer’s Association. (2016). 2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures [PDF]
- AOTA. (2007). Centennial Vision.
- Cason, J. (2012). Health Policy Perspectives: Telehealth opportunities in occupational therapy through the Affordable Care Act. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66, pp. 131–136.
- Healthy People 2020, Dementias, Including Alzheimer's Disease.
- Lamb, A. J., & Metzler, C. A. (2014). Health policy perspectives: Defining the value of occupational therapy: A health policy lens on research and practice. American Occupational Therapy Association, 68, 9–14.