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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2014, Article ID 103138, 6 pages
Research Article

Cost Effective Community Based Dementia Screening: A Markov Model Simulation

1Neurology Division, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, 1124 West Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90502, USA
2Neurology Division, Department of Medicine, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, 1356 Lusitana Street no. 711, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
3Neurology Department, Straub Clinics and Hospitals, 888 South King Street, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
4Neurology Department, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, 710 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
5Neurology Department, West Los Angeles VA Hospital, 11301 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90073, USA
6Neurology Department, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Building N-25, 1000 West Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90509, USA

Received 26 August 2013; Accepted 30 December 2013; Published 6 February 2014

Academic Editor: Ricardo Nitrini

Copyright © 2014 Erin Saito et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Given the dementia epidemic and the increasing cost of healthcare, there is a need to assess the economic benefit of community based dementia screening programs. Materials and Methods. Markov model simulations were generated using data obtained from a community based dementia screening program over a one-year period. The models simulated yearly costs of caring for patients based on clinical transitions beginning in pre dementia and extending for 10 years. Results. A total of 93 individuals (74 female, 19 male) were screened for dementia and 12 meeting clinical criteria for either mild cognitive impairment or dementia were identified. Assuming early therapeutic intervention beginning during the year of dementia detection, Markov model simulations demonstrated 9.8% reduction in cost of dementia care over a ten-year simulation period, primarily through increased duration in mild stages and reduced time in more costly moderate and severe stages. Discussion. Community based dementia screening can reduce healthcare costs associated with caring for demented individuals through earlier detection and treatment, resulting in proportionately reduced time in more costly advanced stages.