WASHINGTON, D.C. –  U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ed Markey (D-MA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) today introduced bipartisan legislation to help combat Alzheimer’s disease and support those suffering or caring for a family member with this devastating illness.

The Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer’s Act would provide Alzheimer’s patients and their families with much-needed information about the disease and possible treatment options. The bill creates a new care management planning session for newly diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients under Medicare. Sens. Capito, Stabenow, Collins and Markey worked closely with the Alzheimer's Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization for Alzheimer's care, support and research, on the bill.

“Alzheimer's is a disease close to my heart, and we must work to improve its diagnosis and educate Americans about the treatment options available to them,” said Senator Capito. “By expanding Medicare payments to assist newly diagnosed Alzheimer’s patients in obtaining medical services through The HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act, we can work to effectively combat this tragic disease.”

The bill would ensure patients and their families have access to a care planning session with their doctor to help them understand the diagnosis, treatment options, and what medical and community services are available. Over the years, studies have shown that providing patients and families with a full range of information and support results in better outcomes for those living with Alzheimer's, including higher quality of care, increased use of needed community services, reduced patient behavioral and psychiatric symptoms and reduced caregiver stress and depression.