4 min read
The emotional costs of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and mild cognitive decline are well documented. For affected individuals, caregivers, and their loved ones, the diagnosis can be life-altering. Indeed, when asked about their biggest health concerns, adults over the age of 65 describe Alzheimer’s as their number one most feared diagnosis.
Less obvious are its economic consequences, which impact health plans’ bottom line. For payers and others bearing Medicare claim risk, members with dementia drive an outsized percentage of healthcare spend. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease cost Medicare Advantage plans 3x more than their peers—which equates to roughly $18,000 in additional spend per member with dementia each year.
Why are these costs so much higher? In addition to the direct costs, including memory care and long term care, these individuals experience a significantly higher rate of accidents, illness, and healthcare utilization. They experience more falls that require hospitalization, more avoidable emergency visits, more - and longer - hospital stays, and have poorer clinical outcomes when accompanied by other costly conditions.
These are the hidden costs of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Left unmanaged, members’ daily quality of life is threatened and their likelihood of needing expensive, high-acuity care only increases over time. For payers looking to reduce avoidable spend, a new non-pharma solution is gaining momentum: enjoyable, interactive programs for brain health.
Moving Together™ to Manage Brain Health
To better manage dementia-related cost drivers, improving brain health is a critical place to start. Clinical trials indicate that Moving Together™, our dementia-specific program, prevents falls and improves cognitive and physical function, quality of life, and overall emotional well-being. With a focus on comprehensive, whole person care, the program reduces the need for high-cost, high-utilization healthcare needs.
Moving Together™ combines the best of science, technology, and human connection to help transform the lives of individuals living with dementia or cognitive decline. Movement therapy classes engage individuals with a patented blend of gentle exercise paired with mindfulness and social time. The curriculum and its instructors work together with the parts of the brain that remain strong, and participants enjoy a renewed sense of brain health.
In addition to meeting member needs and improving quality of life, the direct benefits to the health plan go right to the bottom line. The economical program reduces spend, creates value, and is clinically proven to drive a 2-3x better effect on dementia members than best-in-class medications.
Plans enjoy the benefits of member engagement. With Moving Together™, they are able to activate and maintain an ongoing connection with this hard-to-reach population:
- 70%: Attendance rate at twice-weekly classes
- 83%: Reduction in loneliness scores
And, this is engagement with clinically-proven impact. Moving Together™ spurs physical and cognitive improvements that reduce utilization and health plan spend per member with dementia:
- 48%: Reduction in falls*
- 78%: Participants report learning new skills
- 67%: Participants see noticeable mobility and balance improvements
Health plans are facing rising costs across their aging populations, making new interventions truly imperative, as both the costs and percentage of older adults with dementia continue to rise. Together Senior Health’s comprehensive, evidence-based approach pairs cognitive programs with tailored physical regiments and enlivening social experiences to yield significant changes for the personal well-being of members—and the financial health of your plan.
To learn how better brain health improves clinical and business outcomes, contact us today.
*This interim data is pulled from a randomized controlled clinical trial with a waitlist control group, conducted in partnership with the University of California, San Francisco, and funded by the National Institute of Health.