Policy Work

The Xen Institute is seeking to improve healthcare policy in the United States.

There is a genetic test for Alzheimer's called APOE. Dr. Flitman urges all his patients that are over 55 years of age to take this test to provide early detection of Alzheimer's (Alzheimer's effects X% of all Americans).

APOE is not covered by Medicare and most major insurance companies won't cover it. This test is vital, yet many patients refuse, or simply cannot afford, to pay $300 out of their pocket to take the test.

The APOE test is to your brain, what the X-ray is to your bones. Imagine if there was no coverage for X-rays. If we can successfully petition to get Medicare coverage for this test, insurance companies will follow suit, and many more people would take it. Getting early diagnosis is crucial to treatment.

But then won't taxes and insurance rates go up to pay for this test?

The alternative is more costly.

With APOE covered, neurologists like Dr. Flitman can diagnose and treat patients sooner and allow them to be productive members of society. Without early detection, patients
1 lose mental capacity
2 need round-the-clock nursing, and
3 end up on disability

All of this occurring as much as a decade sooner than would be the case if they'd simply taken the test.

The cost to care for a patient with Alzheimer's is $150 per day. If we could postpone onset of Alzheimer's for, say, five years by providing early treatment, multiplied by the millions of Americans with the disease, we're talking about a potential savings of billions of dollars - all possible if we can get coverage for this simple test.  

We must get APOE covered. We will be generating a petition and a form letter to send to your local congressperson. To get involved, please email us.

Contact Information

Stephen S. Flitman, MD
Director of Research
3100 North Third Ave Suite 100
Phoenix, Arizona 85013
(602) 265-6500
fax (602) 265-6586