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Report: Antipsychotic drug use in nursing homes drops

August 11, 2015
by Megan Combs, Associate Editor
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Antipsychotic drug use in nursing home residents with some form of dementia has dropped from 23.9 percent in 2011 to 18.7 percent in the first quarter of 2015, according to a report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes compiled the data. Success has varied by state, with some states and regions seeing a reduction of more than 20 percent. Maine, Arkansas and Tennessee saw the biggest drops, according to the report.

The partnership is committed to improving the quality of care for residents living with dementia. It aims to deliver care that is person-centered, comprehensive and interdisciplinary without using antipsychotics. 

"This represents the progress we've made in bettering the lives of those we serve every day," said Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) in a press release. "Together with CMS and AHCA’s Quality Initiative, more than 35,000 nursing center residents living with dementia are no longer receiving antipsychotic medications. But we can’t stop there. We are working to safely reduce the use of the medication by a total of 30 percent over the next two years and are well on our way.”

AHCA expanded its Quality Initiative in May. One of its goals was to reduce the off-label use of antipsychotics by 30 percent by the end of 2016. Already members of AHCA's quality initiative have reached at 23 percent decrease.

"This new data demonstrates how a collaborative partnership between CMS, providers and consumers can be very successful," David Gifford, M.D., AHCA senior vice president of quality and regulatory affairs, said in the press release.

Read the compiled data here.

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