Because cognitive disorders are progressive and extend over many years, and because all with the disease will eventually require the assistance of others for their day to day needs, caring for patients with dementia is a time-consuming process. To manage cognitive disorders well takes time with the patient and family/caregivers which is costly.
Most medical clinics that diagnose and treat dementia patients focus primarily on the patient because direct patient care is reimbursed by Medicare and other insurance plans. MemoryCare does receive payment from insurance companies for time spent with patients assessing, diagnosing and treating the symptoms of cognitive impairment. But no insurance covers the cost of comprehensive care that MemoryCare provides to families/caregivers. To cover the cost of our program, MemoryCare relies on insurance fees, a cost-sharing annual caregiver fee, and charitable funds that we raise every year. These three sources of income are necessary for every visit to our office for every family served.
Caregiver education, support and counseling, are the heart of MemoryCare’s model and are critical to the success we have in helping families. Of caregivers surveyed randomly, 98% report satisfaction with the services provided. To make the comprehensive support we provide possible, MemoryCare shares in the cost of the services by raising funds needed to cover the budgetary gap left after insurance fees and the cost-sharing caregiver fee have been collected. Each year, MemoryCare has to raise almost 50% of our annual budget through charitable funds. We do this through a combination of grants, donations, and investment income and are deeply grateful for the support we receive.
For families with financial hardship, we work closely with them to find a payment plan that is realistic. No family will ever be denied service due to an inability to pay the cost-sharing fee.
By helping families provide care to a loved one with dementia in the home setting and teaching them about the importance of managing their own healthcare needs, MemoryCare affects the economy of our community and state. Our support saves healthcare dollars by minimizing inappropriate utilization of the acute care system, helping avoid medication errors, and by helping families care for their loved ones in the home setting longer than would otherwise be possible which saves the cost of placement.
Until the value of MemoryCare’s approach is realized and reimbursement adjusted to facilitate our care model, MemoryCare will have to seek charitable funds.