An estimated 5.8 million Americans over the age of 65 are living in the dementia stage of AD. That number is projected to reach 13.8 million by 2050.1
On a yearly basis, the costs for healthcare services—like hospitals, nursing homes, hospice, and home healthcare—are significantly higher for Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries living in the dementia stage of AD (or with other dementias) than for those living without dementia.
If left unaddressed, total annual payments for healthcare, long-term care, and hospice care for people with AD and other dementias are projected to increase to more than $1.1 trillion in 2050.
Recent analysis suggests that the US has approximately half the number of geriatricians needed and that only a small percentage of nurse practitioners, social workers, and other professionals are skilled in working with older adults.
An Alzheimer's Association survey revealed that primary care physicians (PCPs) feel under-equipped to manage the increasing AD population1:
Based on assumptions from a simulated model published in 2017, it is anticipated that there may be some health infrastructure challenges that would need to be addressed.2
Evolving AD care could potentially rely on comprehensive clinical assessment of a growing population. Healthcare systems can prepare for this by establishing assessment protocols.1-4
Specialist shortage and long wait times could be a challenge for patients receiving treatment. Physician education and training can be tailored to help meet these needs.1,2,5
Access to biomarker testing, such as positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and CSF tests, could become a limiting factor. Equipping facilities in advance and drafting plans for increased capacity may help prepare healthcare providers to meet the demand. Expanded testing of amyloid beta and tau in CSF obtained via lumbar puncture may also help speed the diagnostic process.2,5