Dementia-specific quality measures, initiatives to help ensure a sufficient number of direct care workers and dementia training programs that count toward provider credentialing should be components of state programs for Medicaid beneficiaries with dementia, according to a new issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

“People with dementia will likely need paid care as their functioning declines, and in the absence of other viable public or private financing options, Medicaid will continue to be the nation’s primary payer for [long-term services and supports],” the authors note. Finding ways to improve care and LTSS for beneficiaries who have dementia will continue to be “a major public health issue,” they write.

States also may consider updating their functional needs assessment tools to ensure that they fully understand the needs of those who have cognitive impairments.