Alzheimer's brain scan may not be worth it

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FRIDAY, July 31, 2020 – A study failed to show that brain scans to screen for Alzheimer's help save Medicare health care costs, Press related fifth report.

This finding is from a $ 100 million study with more than 25,000 Medicare patients.

People who support Medicare coverage for scans hope to show that they benefit even if they don't save money.

Diagnosis can help families plan for the future even though there is no effective treatment or cure for Alzheimer's disease, researcher Dr. Gil Rabinovici of the University of California, San Francisco, told AP.

A spokesman for the Centers for Medicare Services and Medical Benefits told AP that the agency reviews all data on risks and benefits. A formal request will have to be submitted to the agency to review its 2013 decision to exclude scans except for research and in special cases.

More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, which can only be diagnosed after death.

PET brains can detect signs when a patient is alive, but they cost $ 4,000 to $ 5,000 and insurance companies will not pay them because they don't know if they are good for the patient.

In the study, nearly 12,700 people with dementia or mild cognitive impairment were scanned and compared with uninvolved Medicare patients.

Results from the first 4,000 participants recommended Alzheimer's diagnostic scans and changed counseling or care up to 60% …


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