Feds Cite Reductions in Antipsychotic Medications

The use of antipsychotic medication among long-stay nursing home residents in the U.S. fell by 17.1 percent over a recent 21-month period, beating a national goal of a 15.1 percent reduction, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The target was set by the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care, which CMS created along with advocacy organizations and trade associations like the American Health Care Association and LeadingAge. States with the highest levels of reduction included Hawaii (31.4 percent), North Carolina (29.9 percent) and Vermont (28.2 percent). New York’s reduction was 15.4 percent. The Partnership has set goals of a 25 percent reduction by the end of 2015 and a 30 percent reduction by the end of 2016. CMS and partners are reviewing a number of interventions to help meet goals including focused dementia health and safety surveys, close review of surveyor findings to isolate trends, additional public reporting of dementia care findings, national education sessions and support for state-based coalitions. CMS also notes that Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) like IPRO have been tasked with providing technical assistance aimed at reducing the use of these medications in their five-year Medicare contracts that began August 1. For more information on the Partnership, visit www.cms.gov. For more information on IPRO’s work in this area, visit www.atlanticquality.org.