Today, Supportive Care for Dementia, a program of Hospice of the Valley, announced it has been selected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to participate in a new Medicare alternative payment model designed to support people living with dementia and their caregivers. Under CMS’ Guiding an Improved Dementia Experience (GUIDE) Model, Supportive Care for Dementia will be one of almost 400 participants building Dementia Care Programs (DCPs) across the country, working to increase care coordination and improve access to services and supports, including respite care, for people living with dementia and their caregivers.

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“CMS is excited to partner with Supportive Care for Dementia under the GUIDE Model,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “GUIDE is a new approach to how Medicare will pay for the care of people living with dementia. The GUIDE participants are envisioning new ways to support not only people living with dementia, but also to reduce strain on the people who care for them, so that more Americans can remain in their homes and communities, rather than in institutions.”

Launched on July 1, 2024, the GUIDE Model will test a new payment approach for key supportive services furnished to people living with dementia, including: comprehensive, person-centered assessments and care plans; care coordination; 24/7 access to an interdisciplinary care team member or help line; and certain respite services to support caregivers. People with dementia and their caregivers will have the assistance and support of a Care Navigator to help them access clinical and non-clinical services such as meals and transportation through community-based organizations.

“We will continue to support all in need and expand our dementia care services under this new GUIDE Model to help families care for their loved ones at home and reduce the stress related to being a caregiver,” said Hospice of the Valley Executive Director Debbie Shumway. “Arizona has one of the fastest-growing rates of dementia in the nation, so this support is critically needed, and it is our honor to provide it.”

“This is a beautiful opportunity to expand Hospice of the Valley’s current Supportive Care for Dementia program, which cares for patients at all stages of the condition — long before they need hospice care,” said Dr. Gillian Hamilton, Medical Director of Hospice of the Valley’s Supportive Care for Dementia and GUIDE programs. “This model will demonstrate nationally the vital impact this kind of support has on quality of life. We look forward to supporting more persons with dementia who live alone as well as overwhelmed family members dealing with caregiving challenges.”

Supportive Care for Dementia’s participation in the GUIDE Model will help people living with dementia and their caregivers have access to education and support, such as training programs on best practices for caring for a loved one living with dementia. The GUIDE Model also provides respite services for certain people, enabling caregivers to take temporary breaks from their caregiving responsibilities. Respite is being tested under the GUIDE Model to assess its effect on helping caregivers continue to care for their loved ones at home, preventing or delaying the need for facility care.

This initial pilot model is designed for those with fee-for-service Medicare, not Medicare Advantage plans. To learn more, call Supportive Care for Dementia, a program of Hospice of the Valley, at (602)636-6363 or email

For information on CMS’ GUIDE Model, visit