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O'Brien EC, Ford CB, Sorenson C, Jutkowitz E, Shepherd-Banigan M, Van Houtven C. Continuity of care (COC) and amyloid-ß PET scan: the CARE-IDEAS study. Alzheimer's research & therapy. 2023 Jan 7; 15(1):6.
BACKGROUND: High continuity of care (COC) is associated with better clinical outcomes among older adults. The impact of amyloid-ß PET scan on COC among adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia of uncertain etiology is unknown. METHODS: We linked data from the CARE-IDEAS study, which assessed the impact of amyloid-ß PET scans on outcomes in Medicare beneficiaries with MCI or dementia of uncertain etiology and their care partners, to Medicare claims (2015-2018). We calculated a participant-level COC index using the Bice-Boxerman formula and claims from all ambulatory evaluation and management visits during the year prior to and following the amyloid-ß PET scan. We compared baseline characteristics by scan result (elevated or non-elevated) using standardized differences. To evaluate changes in COC, we used multiple regression models adjusting for sociodemographics, cognitive function, general health status, and the Charlson Comorbidity Index. RESULTS: Among the 1171 cohort members included in our analytic population, the mean age (SD) was 75.2 (5.4) years, 61.5% were male and 93.9% were non-Hispanic white. Over two-thirds (68.1%) had an elevated amyloid-ß PET scan. Mean COC for all patients was 0.154 (SD = 0.102; range = 0-0.73) prior to the scan and 0.158 (SD = 0.105; range = 0-1.0) in the year following the scan. Following the scan, the mean COC index score increased (95% CI) by 0.005 (-0.008, 0.019) points more for elevated relative to not elevated scan recipients, but this change was not statistically significant. There was no association between scan result (elevated vs. not elevated) or any other patient covariates and changes in COC score after the scan. CONCLUSION: COC did not meaningfully change following receipt of amyloid-ß PET scan in a population of Medicare beneficiaries with MCI or dementia of uncertain etiology. Future work examining how care continuity varies across marginalized populations with cognitive impairment is needed.