Antipsychotic Drug Use in Nursing Homes – CMS Trend Update

PUBLISHED: Jul 26, 2019
Relevant to: Long Term Care

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is tracking the progress of the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes by reviewing publicly reported measures. The official measure of the Partnership is the percentage of long-stay nursing home residents who receive antipsychotic medication, excluding residents diagnosed with schizophrenia, Huntington's disease, or Tourette’s syndrome.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, 23.9 percent of long-stay nursing home residents received an antipsychotic medication; since then there has been a decrease of 39 percent to a national prevalence of 14.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018.

According to CMS, success has varied by state and CMS region, with some states and regions having seen a reduction of greater than 45 percent. CMS acknowledges that circumstances exist where clinical indications for the use of antipsychotic medications are present and does not expect that the national prevalence of antipsychotic medication use will decrease to zero

Included with today’s notice is an example policy for maintaining resident drug profiles – including antipsychotics as well as an example policy addressing psychotropic medication use.

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