On May 30, 2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced the Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes (Partnership) in order to transform the current focus of treatments and services provided to nursing home residents suffering from dementia and dementia-related illnesses. More specifically, this initiative promotes two goals: (1) resident-centered care; and (2) an emphasis on reducing the use of antipsychotic medications for this unique nursing home population.
To implement and ensure Partnership’s success, CMS is providing training, tools and resources to nursing home providers, surveyors and consumers. CMS believes this program not only provides a better quality of life for the target residents but an increased understanding of their special needs by their caregivers.
In order to reach a larger audience and in furtherance of its goals, CMS has partnered with several national organizations such as the American Medical Directors Association and the American Health Care Association. Additionally, CMS is conducting research, raising public awareness, providing regulatory oversight and encouraging public reporting to increase transparency in the use of antipsychotic medications. The American Medical Directors (“AMDA”) Association sent a letter encouraging nursing home medical directors to join with them and CMS to reduce the use of unnecessary antipsychotic agents by refocusing on the interdisciplinary team to gain a better understanding of dementia-related behaviors. The AMDA letter, which describes tools and resources to achieve this goal, can be found here.
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