Conquering Alzheimer’s is as much a matter of public policy as scientific discovery, and we need your help to change the future of this devastating disease.
As an advocate, you will be invited to engage public officials and policymakers in a variety of ways, urging their support for critical Alzheimer's legislation and policy changes. Whether you prefer sending emails to legislators, posting updates to Facebook, or hosting events or even meeting in-person with your elected officials, there are many ways you can make a difference as an Alzheimer's Association Advocate.
Alzheimer's is a devastating disease that cannot be ignored by federal policymakers. Our goal is to see that the federal government takes bold action now to confront this growing crisis. Urge your elected officials to enact public policies that provide better health and long-term coverage to ensure high-quality, cost-effective care for the millions of people who face this disease every day. Learn more
State governments are increasingly on the front lines in addressing health issues facing America. As a result, every state must tackle Alzheimer's not only as an aging issue but also as a public health crisis.
This year the Alzheimer's Association, Montana acheived significant legislative success. Below is a brief summary of the legislation we worked to pass.
House Bill 17 – Increase HCBS Waiver Slots and Assisted Living Reimbursement Rates:
HB 17 improves the Big Sky Medicaid program by expanding the home and community- based waiver & increasing the reimbursement to assisted living facilities, effectively helping to keep Montanans at home or in assisted living for as long as possible. This bill was signed by the Governor on 5/3/17.
"HB 17 was a project that needed all of our attention...it was an effort by all of us to make it happen. Of course, having the bill signed puts it in statute, however, the funding mechanism for this biennium is dependent on the revenue projections holding up." Rep. Ron Ehli
House Bill 24 – Providing protections to vulnerable persons from financial exploitation:
This legislation passed the House and Senate and was signed by the Governor.
House Bill 70 – Strengthen Guardianship Services and Create WINGS Group:
Creates a permanent oversight committee to train & track adult guardians in the court system. This legislation was signed by the Governor on 5/3/17.
House Bill 163 – Caregiver Act:
HB 163 requires hospitals to record the caregiver’s name upon patient admission, notify the caregiver if the patient is transferred or sent home and give the caregiver instructions for care after discharge. This was signed by the Governor.
This legislation creates a new license for assisted living facilities for those with dementia or other mental disorders who might be a harm to themselves or others, provides an involuntary commitment diversion option and ammends laws related to involuntary commitment to address the added diversion alternative. This was signed into law by the Governor on 5/19/17.
For the Future:
A number of our legislative goals were not achieved this year, but we're confident that your advocacy outreach and continued efforts to engage Montana legislators will ultimately address these issues.
House Bill 35 – Create Grant Program for Training Volunteer Respite Providers:
Provided grants to local groups to train and recruit respite caregivers. This legislation was tabled in Committee on 2/17/17 and will not be considered during this session.
House Bill 36 – Fund Alzheimer’s Related Services provided by AAAs: Would have provided money to the Area Agencies to provide information, assistance, public awareness and direct in-home services for family caregivers. This legislation was tabled in Committee on 2/17/17 and will not be considered during this session.
This year we saw great legislative success thanks to your efforts in urging the Montana legislature to address the needs of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and their families. While there's still more to do, please take a look at all that we've accomplished together.
Montana Chapter Headquarters
3010 11th Avenue North
Billings, MT 59101