PA House passes Madden Alzheimer’s bill

HARRISBURG, June 27 – Legislation sponsored by Rep. Maureen Madden that would establish an infrastructure of full-time state agency positions dedicated to supporting dementia initiatives across Pennsylvania today passed the state House of Representatives.

Madden said H.B. 2400 would create a permanent Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Office and establish a 28-member advisory committee, both within the state Department of Aging, to coordinate across state agencies, advocate policy and leverage resources to better respond to the unique and complex needs of those living with Alzheimer's and other dementia disorders and the systems that support them.

“For too long, our seniors living with ADRD have not been prioritized. Back in 2013, an Alzheimer’s Disease Planning Committee was created by executive order, and yet, Pennsylvania has very little to show from that effort and the commonwealth still only allocates $250,000 annually toward dementia-specific disease education, outreach and programming,” said Madden, chair of the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee. “There are over 280,000 Pennsylvanians 65 or older living with Alzheimer’s disease. It doesn’t take a math whiz to figure out that is less than a dollar per person diagnosed. We can and must do better for our seniors and the loved ones who care for them.”

By 2025, the number of Pennsylvanians living with Alzheimer’s is expected to increase to 320,000 with the total Medicaid costs to care for them expected to increase by over 10%.

“Different government agencies administer programs and initiatives that are critical to people living with dementia, but these are predominately siloed with multiple state agencies working separately from one another. A coordinated, interdepartmental approach that incorporates a broad spectrum of public-private partnerships is necessary to address the multi-faceted challenges of this disease effectively and efficiently,” said Madden, D-Monroe.

The bill moves to the state Senate for consideration.