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Hopkins’ Economics of Alzheimer’s Disease & Services Center

Center News and Updates

New Summary Report from the National Research Summit on Care, Services, Support for Persons with Dementia and their Caregivers 

February 2021

Read the new National Institute on Aging (NIA) summary report developed from the National Research Summit on Care, Services, Support for Persons with Dementia and Their Caregivers held during the summer of 2020. The summit was co-chaired by center director and summit steering committee Jennifer Wolff and David Reuben of UCLA. View the full report here.

Cost-effective Care coordination for People with Dementia At Home

January 2021

A study led by Amber Willink and Quincy Samus, and co-authors Karen Davis, Deirdre Johnston, Betty Black, Melissa Reuland, Ian Stockwell, Halima Amjad, and Constantine Lyketsos published in Innovation in Aging suggests that hospitalization risk reduction strategies may benefit from understanding and addressing caregiving circumstances. Managed-care plans with the flexibility to engage community health workers could benefit from a low-cost, high-touch intervention to meet the needs of enrollees with dementia. Read more

Older Adults with Dementia Exhibit Financial "Symptoms" Up To Six Years Before Diagnosis

November 2020

A new study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors found that Medicare beneficiaries who go on to be diagnosed with dementia are more likely to miss payments on bills as early as six years before a clinical diagnosis.

The study also found that beneficiaries diagnosed with dementia who had a lower educational status missed payments on bills beginning as early as seven years before a clinical diagnosis as compared to 2.5 years prior to a diagnosis for beneficiaries with higher educational status.

The study, which included researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School, also found that these missed payments and other adverse financial outcomes lead to increased risk of developing subprime credit scores starting 2.5 years before a dementia diagnosis. Subprime credit scores fall in the fair and lower range.

The findings, published online November 30 in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that financial symptoms such as missing payments on routine bills could be used as early predictors of dementia and highlight the benefits of earlier detection.

Read more here.

Lead author, Lauren Hersch Nicholas, PhD, associate professor in the department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, is quoted in the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and the Miami Herald

Do Caregiving Factors Affect Hospitalization Risk among Disabled Older Adults? 

September 2020

A study led by Halima Amjad and co-authors John MulcahyJudith KasperJulia Burgdorf, David Roth, Ken Covinsky, and Jennifer Wolff in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society examined a nationally representative cohort of older adults with disabilities. Increased risk of hospitalization at 12 months was associated with having a primary caregiver who helped with healthcare tasks, reported physical strain, and provided more than 40 hours of care weekly. The findings suggest that hospitalization risk reduction strategies may benefit from understanding and addressing caregiving circumstances. Read more.

Hopkins’ Economics of Alzheimer’s Disease and Services Center Launched to Address Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias

July 2020

The Hopkins’ Economics of Alzheimer’s Disease and Services (HEADS) Center is led by Jennifer Wolff, PhD, Eugene and Mildred Lipitz Professor of Health Policy and Management and Director of the Roger C. Lipitz Center for Integrated Healthcare and Daniel Polsky, PhD, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Health Economics and Director of the Hopkins Business of Health Initiative, who received a $4.5 million dollar grant from the National Institute on Aging over a five-year period to establish the center.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and limits the ability to carry out basic daily activities. Health care and long-term services and supports are not well organized or financed to meet the needs of the 5.8 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease. As a result, the financial consequences are significant and quality of care is too often poor, leading to undue burden on those who are affected by the disease. As the numbers of persons who are living with the disease are expected to grow in the coming years, the challenges for individuals and society will be compounded.

The Center will take a cross-school, interdisciplinary approach to build collaborations among faculty across the University. The Center will include the following initiatives: