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Barragán Statement on CMS Decision that Improves Access to Diagnostic Imaging for Alzheimer’s Patients

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                     

13 October 2023

Contact: Kevin McGuire, 202-538-2386 (mobile)

WASHINGTON: Today, Congresswoman Nanette Barragán (CA-44) released the following statement after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced updated coverage policies for PET beta-amyloid imaging, a step which will remove barriers and increase patient access to a test which has proven to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease at its earliest stages.  

“The earlier Alzheimer’s is detected, the more time patients and families have to assess treatment and spend time with their loved ones,” said Rep. Barragán.  “I know the impact of this disease firsthand – I have watched my mother struggle with Alzheimer’s over the last several years. 

Consistent evidence over the past decade shows PET beta amyloid imaging can help physicians diagnose Alzheimer’s disease and dementia years before the onset of symptoms, but patient access was severely limited by Medicare coverage policies. That’s why I co-led a letter to HHS last November, calling for reconsideration of coverage policies that most significantly limited access for patients of color.

This updated coverage decision from CMS is a big step forward for families and patients who just want to spend more time with their loved ones.  I look forward to continuing to work with advocates and the Biden Administration to increase access to quality care, diagnostics tools, and treatment options for patients, especially for communities of color.”