Brain Function

September 17, 2009

Health Reform and Screening

Cognitive screening is gradually rising in public and government consciousness as something that makes sense. It should be done annually after 65. And it should be under user control. This is why at Cogolog we are promoting a system that allows our users to share their data with their doctors when and if they wish to do so.

The Senate Finance Committee health reform proposal below reflects that awareness:

Beginning in 2011, Medicare beneficiaries would have access to a comprehensive health risk assessment (HRA) based on guidelines developed by the Secretary in consultation with relevant groups and entities. The assessment would identify chronic diseases, modifiable risk factors, and emergency or urgent health needs. The assessment could be provided through an interactive telephonic or web-based program or during an encounter with a health professional. The Secretary would also set standards for the electronic tools that could be used to deliver the assessment.

Within six months of completing the comprehensive HRA, the Chairman‘s Mark would authorize Medicare payment for a visit to a primary care provider to create a personalized prevention plan. The plan would include the following elements: review and update of medical body mass index, and blood pressure); a schedule and referral for recommended, covered preventive services and immunizations; a strategy to address identified conditions and risk factors; a list of all medications currently prescribed and all providers regularly involved in the patient‘s care; and health advice and referral to Medicare-covered health education and preventive counseling or referral to community-based interventions to address modifiable risk factors such as weight, physical activity, smoking, and nutrition. Optional elements, if appropriate, could include a cognitive impairment screening and administration of or referral for appropriate Medicare-covered immunizations and screening tests, among others. After the first visit, the personalized prevention plan would be updated at each visit and health advice as well as other elements would be provided according the patients‘ needs.

All enrolled beneficiaries would be eligible for the wellness visit once every year. No co-payment or deductible would apply.