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People living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia face unique health care challenges and often primary care providers are the first clinicians with whom individuals discuss cognition concerns. Quality care delivered by trained providers leads to better health outcomes for individuals and caregivers, and puts less strain on health systems. Yet, too often overburdened primary care providers are unable to access the latest patient-centered dementia training.

Project ECHO, a video-conference based continuing education program, improves health outcomes while reducing geographic barriers and the cost of care through a team-based approach. Alzheimer’s and dementia Project ECHO programs have successfully provided continuing education through interactive, case-based virtual learning sessions, and bring this training to rural and medically underserved areas where primary care providers are especially strained.

Through the use of Project ECHO, the AADAPT Act would provide virtual dementia education and training to more primary care providers to better understand detection, diagnosis, care, and treatment of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia at the first point of entry for most people. The bill would expand the current ECHO program to provide grants specifically for Alzheimer’s and dementia Project ECHOs to address the knowledge gaps and workforce capacity issues primary care providers face given the increasing population living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia.

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