December 2, 2020

Around the nation: The first blood test for Alzheimer's disease is now for sale

Daily Briefing

    The test, sold by C2N Diagnostics, hasn't received FDA's approval, and only doctors are able to order it, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, the District of Columbia, and Missouri.

    • California: Delvecchio Finley, CEO of Alameda Health System, resigned from the post last week. Finley had served as CEO of Alameda for more than five years and. In a statement, Alameda's board of trustees thanked Finley for leading the health system amid "the most tumultuous period in health care" (Ellison, Becker's Hospital Review, 11/27).
    • District of Columbia: Scott Atlas, a former radiologist and member of the White House coronavirus task force, resigned from his position on the task force on Monday. According to Politico, Atlas often clashed with public health experts on the task force who believed that Atlas was misleading President Trump on the outlook of America's coronavirus epidemic. In his resignation letter, Atlas wrote that he "always relied on the latest science and evidence, without any political consideration or influence" (Diamond, Politico, 11/30; Swan/Chen, Axios, 11/30).
    • Missouri: C2N Diagnostics has begun selling its blood test for Alzheimer's disease, which is the first of its kind, in most U.S. states and in Europe. The test measures amyloid particles and different forms of protein in a person's blood, and then combines those results with a formula that's intended to determine whether a person has a low, medium, or high risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. The test hasn't received FDA's approval, and it isn't covered by private health plans or Medicare. Only doctors are able to order the test, which is priced at $1,250. The test is intended for screening individuals ages 60 and older who are experiencing cognitive issues and are under evaluation for Alzheimer's (Marchione, Associated Press, 11/30; Axios, 11/30; Budryk, The Hill, 11/30).
    Case profiles: Keep Alzheimer’s patients safe at homeand in the community 
    Hebrew-SeniorLife-Profile-Infographic

    The number of patients with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is projected to increase from 5.8 million to 14 million by the year 2050—amounting to an $800 billion annual cost to the U.S. health system. Patients live with dementia for an average of ten years, and require twice as many hospital stays as other older adults.

    To manage this growing, complex population, providers need to invest now in support services that will keep dementia patients safe at home and in the community.

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