Diagnosed prevalence of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in Medicare Advantage plans

Alzheimers Dement (Amst). 2020 Jul 5;12(1):e12048. doi: 10.1002/dad2.12048. eCollection 2020.


Introduction: One-third of Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA). Yet, little is known about MA beneficiaries diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and AD-related dementias (AD/ADRD).

Methods: We calculated the prevalence of AD/ADRD diagnoses in 2014 and 2016 in three MA plans. We determined the demographic characteristics of beneficiaries diagnosed with AD/ADRD, and whether they disenrolled from the MA plan for any reason within 364 days from the index date.

Results: In 2014 and 2016, the overall prevalence of AD/ADRD diagnoses was 5.6% and 6.5%, respectively. In 2016, AD/ADRD beneficiaries were on average 82.4 (SD = 7.4) years of age, 61.8% female, and had multiple comorbidities. By 364 days post-index date, 32% of beneficiaries with AD/ADRD had disenrolled from their plan. The demographic characteristics of 2014 beneficiaries with diagnosed AD/ADRD were similar to their 2016 counterparts.

Discussion: The prevalence of AD/ADRD diagnosis in MA is lower than rates reported in Medicare fee-for-service.

Keywords: Medicare; Medicare Advantage; dementia, Alzheimer's disease; mild cognitive impairment.