On the heels of last week’s failure for the antipsychotic measures to pass the Senate, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has just announced an initiative to reduce antipsychotic use in nursing facilities. Yesterday, CMS officials announced a multi-year initiative to improve dementia care for residents of nursing homes by reducing the inappropriate use of antipsychotic drugs.
CMS stated it was aiming to reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing home residents by 15% by the end of this year, through training of nursing home staff and state inspectors to use alternative methods instead of relying on antipsychotics to quell aggressive and agitated behavior among people with dementia. Alice Bonner, director of the agency’s nursing home division, said that this year’s 15% reduction is just the first step, and next year will include even greater reductions.
To increase transparency, each nursing home’s use of antipsychotic drugs will be available online at the Nursing Home Compare website, starting in July.
This push to reduce antipsychotics is the result of a report to Congress last year that highlighted almost 40% of nursing home patients with signs of dementia were receiving antipsychotic drugs at some point in 2010, even though there was no diagnosis of psychosis.
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