Antipsychotic Rx use in nursing homes declines


Eleven states have reduced antipsychotic use in nursing home residents by at least 15%, meeting a CMS partnership goal set last year.

Eleven states have reduced antipsychotic Rx use in nursing home residents by at least 15%, meeting a CMS partnership goal set last year.

In 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care, with a goal to reduce antipsychotic drug use by 15% by the end of this year.  Data released on Nursing Home Compare by CMS demonstrated that the following states met or exceeded that goal: Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vermont.

These nursing homes that are using less antipsychotics are providing more patient-centered treatment for dementia and other behavioral healthcare, according to the data on Nursing Home Compare. In 2010, the data showed that more than 17% of nursing home residents had received daily doses of antipsychotic medications that exceeded recommended levels.

“This important partnership to improve dementia care in nursing homes is yielding results,” said Dr. Patrick Conway, CMS chief medical officer and director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality. “We will continue to work with clinicians, caregivers, and communities to improve care and eliminate harm for people living with dementia.”

The data also show that long-stay nursing home residents have benefited from the initiative as the national prevalence of antipsychotic use in this patient population has been reduced by 9.1% in the first quarter of 2013, compared to the last quarter of 2011. Also, about 30,000 nursing home residents in the United States are no longer receiving these medications.

For additional information about the Partnership efforts, visit the Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes website.

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