Dementia Cal MediConnect Project

Alzheimer's Greater Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

https://www.alzheimersla.org/

The Dementia Cal MediConnect Project is making critical progress towards improving the quality of care delivered to people with dementia and their family caregivers in California’s “duals” (Medicare/MediCal) demonstration project. Since inception in 2013—and in collaboration with the California Department of Aging (CDA), Alzheimer’s Greater Los Angeles (ALZGLA), the Alzheimer’s Association in Northern California, Alzheimer’s San Diego, and ten health plans in six California counties—the project works to improve access to quality healthcare and supports for poor and ethnically diverse people with dementia. This is done by:

  • advocating with and providing technical assistance to health plans;
  • training their care managers;
  • providing support and disease education to patients and their caregivers.

An evaluation by University of California San Francisco (UCSF) found staff reported significant improvements in dementia-capable care coordination practices, including identifying and supporting the caregiver.

As of fall 2016 almost 300 care managers and over 500 family caregivers had received disease education or support. Over 40 Dementia Care Specialists are in place at eight of the participating health plans. In response to dedicated, collaborative advocacy, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) initiated action to issue a critically important CMS Informational Bulletin focusing on the quality and business case for health plans and states to create improved systems of care for people with dementia, especially within the Duals Pilot. The State of California will receive the Bulletin, followed by Texas, and then other states where advocacy is underway to improve dementia care based on the promising practices begun in the Dementia Cal MediConnect Project.