Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Dementia Care Aware FAQs
Dementia Care Aware is a training and support program that empowers primary care teams to assess and address dementia.
The cornerstone of our program is an online training for an annual screening for people 65 and older called the cognitive health assessment (CHA). This 5-10 minute screening can fit into several types of visits. This includes routine visits, Medicare visits such as Initial and Subsequent Annual Wellness Visits (AWV), and during Health Risk Assessments.
Dementia Care Aware has additional training on many topics, for example: next steps in a dementia evaluation, how to create care plans with patients and their care partners, and how to perform the CHA in different languages or with patients who are living with serious mental illness. We also provide tools for implementing dementia detection and care in clinical practice and connecting patients and care partners to community resources.
Dementia will soon affect 1 in 5 older Californians.
Dementia impacts a person’s ability to self-manage their day-to-day activities and other medical conditions.
Detecting dementia early:
- Allows you to connect the person and their caregivers to resources early
- Improves quality of life for affected persons and their caregivers
- Reduces unnecessary costs of care
- Allows you to start a brain health plan earlier, which can slow progression.
- Dementia Care Aware provides an at most, 90-minute core training for the Cognitive Health Assessment (CHA) that can be done over time and offers CME/CE credits and MOC.
- Providers who take the training are eligible to bill for this assessment for patients 65 and older with Medi-Cal only using code 1494F.
- In development and available soon:
- Dementia Care Aware will provide additional modules on key topics such as the CHA in non-English speaking populations.
- More trainings are available including through podcasts, monthly webinars, videos, and written tools.
We help providers and practices implement the CHA in practice with resources that fit your bandwidth:
- Centralized warmline support for clinical management or consult questions Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Virtual live education and case conferences on the CHA and dementia care
- Practice support coaching to implement dementia care in your practice and get hands-on, customized practice improvement guidance.
All members of the health care team can use our trainings, toolkits, and resources.
- Visit DementiaCareAware.org for training and resources.
- Contact us using the warmline for consultative support on programmatic and clinical questions.
- Email DCA@ucsf.edu with any questions.
- Sign up for the Dementia Care Aware mailing list.
Participants must attend the live webinar to receive credit. Previously recorded webinars are not eligible for CE. At the end of each webinar, the moderator will share a link with instructions for how to claim credit for that specific webinar.
Cognitive Health Assessment (CHA) FAQs
The CHA is a quick tool that can be completed by different members of a healthcare team. Additionally, it is completely free to the patient, easy to score, uses tools that are validated in primary care and can be done in multiple languages.
The CHA process consists of:
- Taking a brief patient history, for example, through a question such as “Have you noticed any changes in your memory or thinking abilities this last year?”
- Using screening tools. Use validated tools to assess cognition and function, which can be given to the patient or a care partner.
- Documenting care partner information. Do a brief assessment of the patient’s support system.
All members of the care team can conduct the CHA, but a billing provider must do the final review and documentation.
An example of a potential team model might be:
- At check-in, the patient receives a survey that includes a question about memory symptoms.
- The Medical Assistant assesses function by assessing activities of daily living (ADL) and/or instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) by asking the patient the questions on the functional abilities’ checklist.
- The Nurse conducts a Mini-Cog with the patient.
- The Social Worker assesses the patient’s support system and documents it.
- The primary care provider, a Physician or Advanced Practice Provider, reviews and interprets the results, discusses the results and next steps with the patient, and documents the CHA components.
The table below outlines the recommended tools that can be used with the patient or an informant to satisfy the requirements of the CHA:
The Medicare Annual Wellness Visit includes a requirement for a cognitive impairment initial screening and allows flexibility on the tools providers can use for this screening. The Dementia Care Aware CHA may be used as a resource for this screening. If the patient screens positive on the CHA, then a more in-depth evaluation should be done, including the 60-minute face-to-face Cognitive Assessment and Care Planning (see CPT-4 code 99483).
Anyone can take the trainings provided by the Dementia Care Aware program. However, only the below professions are eligible for CE credit.
Participants must complete the cognitive health assessment eLearning module and should complete the evaluation module to receive continuing education credits and the associated certificates. For this eLearning activity, certificates are awarded on a quarterly basis and will be available to print and/or download on the schedule below. Learners will receive an email with instructions on how to access certificates when they are ready to view/download.
When certificates are available instructions on how to claim credit can be found here: https://vimeo.com/465540874 and instructions for adding credentials or licensing to the certificate can be found here: https://ucsf.box.com/
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns.
Have a Question?
Dementia Care Aware is here for you and will answer any questions you may have. Feel free to contact us below to fill out a contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.