Andrea Branch


Cognitive impairment is one of the predominant diagnoses that in its early stages remain undetected in the primary healthcare setting. With Alzheimer's and dementia on the rise, it is paramount that cognitive impairment be detected promptly so preventative measures may be initiated to slow or avert progression of this dreaded disease. The annual wellness visit, a Medicare benefit added by the Affordable Care Act of 2010, recommends primary care providers conduct a screening to detect cognitive impairment during the course of this assessment. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services failed to recommend a specific screening tool to be utilized by primary care providers to detect cognitive impairment. The Medicare Detection of Cognitive Impairment Workgroup convened by the Alzheimer’s Association, conducted research on this subject, and found that the General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPCOG), the Mini-Cog, and the Memory Impairment Screen (MIS) are brief structured tools that would be suitable for cognitive assessment function during the annual wellness visit. The goal for this study was to evaluate 600 charts (100 from each primary care provider’s office) to determine if cognitive impairment screening was being conducted during the Medicare annual wellness visit. If the screening was being performed, further assessment was conducted to determine if a recommended screening tool was utilized by the provider. The researchers have hypothesized that cognitive impairment screening is not taking place according to the prescribed recommendations.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

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Nursing Commons