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Antipsychotic Use Down In Us Nursing Homes - Seniors Long Term Care & Nursing Home Issues - SeniorSite.com
Antipsychotic Use Down In Us Nursing Homes - Seniors Long Term Care & Nursing Home Issues - SeniorSite.com

Antipsychotic Use Down In Us Nursing Homes

Nursing homes in the United States are using antipsychotics less often, opting instead for more patient-centered treatment for dementia and other behavioral healthcare, according to new data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Unnecessary antipsychotic drug use is a significant challenge in dementia care, the agency notes. A literature review published in April concluded that most patients with dementia can safely stop using antipsychotics, as reported by Medscape Medical News.

According to the CMS, in 2010, more than 17% of nursing home patients had daily doses exceeding recommended levels. In response to these trends, the agency launched the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in 2012. As reported by Medscape Medical News, the Partnership's stated goal is to reduce antipsychotic drug use by 15% by the end of 2013.

Data just released by the CMS show significant progress on that front.

The national prevalence of antipsychotic use in long-stay nursing home residents fell 9.1% in the first quarter of 2013 compared with the last quarter of 2011, the agency says.

"There are approximately 30,000 fewer nursing home residents on these medications now than if the prevalence had remained at the pre-National Partnership level," according to the CMS.

They report that at least 11 states have hit or exceeded a 15% target and others are approaching that goal. The states that have met or exceeded the target are Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Vermont.

The Partnership aims to reduce inappropriate use of antipsychotics in several ways, including enhanced training for nursing home providers and state surveyors, increased transparency by making antipsychotic use data available online at Nursing Home Compare, and highlighting alternate strategies to improve dementia care.

Since its launch in early 2012, the goal of the project has been to improve quality of care and quality of life for the country's 1.5 million nursing home residents. This broad-based coalition includes long-term care providers, caregivers and advocates, medical and quality improvement experts, government agencies, and consumers.

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



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