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Am J Manag Care. 2000 Dec;6(22 Suppl):S1149-55; discussion S1156-60.

Managed care decisions in Alzheimer's disease.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementia are responsible for high levels of excess per-member costs within managed care organizations (MCOs). To deal with anticipated increases in the prevalence of this disease within their populations, MCOs should take steps to integrate and target proven pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic AD treatments. Key areas of AD care improvement include protocol-driven diagnosis, referral, and treatment; education of primary care physicians and caregivers; development of an integrated case management approach; and use of validated measures to assess outcomes. Published evidence-based guidelines are available to assist MCOs in developing clinical protocols for diagnosis and treatment with effective agents such as cholinesterase inhibitors. Because of the opportunity to prevent costly hospitalizations and other complications as a result of medical and behavioral comorbidities, and because of the need for tightly integrated care, a disease management approach for AD may be justified.

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