Cognitive Assessment and Care Plan Services

Published 09/15/2021

It can start with losing car keys. Over time, it can grow into so much more, such as:

  • Trouble remembering
  • Difficulty learning new things
  • Feeling overwhelmed making decisions
  • Getting confused easily or frequently
  • Becoming very impulsive or showing poor judgement

For someone in the beginning stages of memory loss, it can seem as if their thoughts have just “slipped,” but it might be more than that. These can be signs of cognitive impairment. If your doctor detects signs of cognitive impairment, Medicare allows for a separate visit to further assess your cognitive function. In this cognitive assessment visit, a doctor will look for signs of dementia and diseases that may cause dementia, like Alzheimer’s disease, and will create a care plan. 

You will need to bring someone with you to the visit, such as a friend, spouse or caregiver, so that they can help answer questions and provide information, if needed. During the visit, your doctor will do the following:

  1. Perform a cognitive exam
  2. Review your medical history and medication. Sometimes medications can have side effects that may make someone appear to have a cognitive impairment. 
  3. Develop a plan of care
  4. Make a referral to a specialist if one is needed
  5. Talk about community resources (these can include adult day care, rehabilitation services and more)

When this service is performed, the Part B deductible and coinsurance apply. 

Cognitive impairment doesn’t always present as in the ways noted above. It can also show up as depression, anxiety, apathy or irritation/aggression. While there are no cures for most cognitive disorders, there are treatments that may slow down the progress of some illnesses and others that improve the quality of life of the patient and their family.  

For more information about the Cognitive Assessment service, you can call the Palmetto GBA/Railroad Medicare Beneficiary Contact Center at 800-833-4455, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET. For the hearing impaired, call TTY/TDD at 877-566-3572. This line is for the hearing impaired with the appropriate dial-up service and is available during the same hours Customer Service Representatives are available.

Cognitive Assessment Resources

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