U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that UCLA's new Alzheimer's and Dementia Care program has been awarded $3,208,540 as part of the agency's Health Care Innovation awards program.
The awards, made by possible through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, support innovative projects nationwide aimed at saving money, delivering high-quality medical care and enhancing the health care workforce. The 26 awardees announced today are expected to help reduce health care spending costs by $254 million over the next three years.
"We can't wait to support innovative projects that will save money and make our health care system stronger," Sebelius said. "It's yet another way we are supporting local communities now in their efforts to provide better care and lower cost."
The new projects include collaborations among leading hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, technology innovators, community-based organizations, patient advocacy groups and other organizations located in urban and rural areas. The Health and Human Services awards initiative allows applicants to come up with their best ideas to test how the quality and affordability of health care can be improved quickly and efficiently. The awarded projects will begin work this year to address health care issues in their local communities.
UCLA's Alzheimer's and Dementia Care program, which launched in March, provides comprehensive care, as well as resources and support, to patients and their caregivers.
"UCLA already provides outstanding geriatrics, neurology, psychiatry and primary care clinical services," said Dr. David Reuben, chief of UCLA's geriatrics division and leader of the program. "With the launch of this new program, we now have a comprehensive, coordinated dementia care program that spans across UCLA clinical centers and reaches into the community to meet the needs of these patients and their families. We are honored to receive this award, which will help us further our mission of caring for this ever-growing population."
The Health Care Innovation award will allow UCLA to expand the new program to provide efficient patient- and family-centered care for approximately 1,000 Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia in Los Angeles County. By training and deploying professional and non-professional workers and unpaid volunteers, expanding a dementia registry, conducting patient-needs assessments, and creating individualized dementia care plans, the program will reduce and shorten hospital stays, reduce emergency room visits and improve patient health, caregiver health and quality of care, with an estimated savings of approximately $6.9 million.
Over the three-year award period, the UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care program will train an estimated 2,500 workers. These workers will include nurse practitioners, who will be trained as dementia care managers; they, in turn, will help train primary care providers and patient caregivers in dementia care.
The awardees were chosen for their innovative solutions to the health care challenges facing their communities and for their focus on creating a well-trained health care workforce equipped to meet the need for new jobs in the 21st-century health system. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the health care and social assistance sector will gain the most jobs between now and 2020.
The 26 Health Care Innovation awards announced today total $122.6 million. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at HHS administers the awards through cooperative agreements.
For more information on the awards announced today, visit http://bit.ly/JnrxE4.
To learn more about the UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care program, visit http://ucla.in/Kj9oXL.
Dr. David Reuben speaks about UCLA's Alzheimer's and Dementia Care program: