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60 Seconds with... Cheryl Phillips, M.D. Senior VP, Public Policy and Advocacy, LeadingAge

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Cheryl Phillips, M.D.
Cheryl Phillips, M.D.

Q: CMS wants nursing homes to reduce antipsychotic use by 15% by the end of 2012. How's it looking?

A: It's very doable, and I'm actually very optimistic. When I talk to communities around the country, they are: “Oh my goodness, what do we do?” They are waiting for the answers to come out.  

Q: What's the quick fix?

A: [If] you look at a 100-bed nursing home, maybe 22 — the national average, or close to it — are on antipsychotics. If you stop three or four residents, you are at the 15% reduction goal.

Q: What else should providers do?

A: Have a list of everybody who's on them, and know why they're on them. Also, know how long they've been on an antipsychotic.  

I am optimistic the 15% reduction will happen. But I'm also optimistic because it's changing the framework just from meds to focusing on: How do I do this? How do I do a better job in caring for these individuals with dementia?

Q: What do you think of Sen. Kohl's bill that targets antipsychotics?

A: It is always interesting when Congress practices medicine. The issue in this bill raising the most rancor is that of “informed consent.” My concern is that we don't devolve into just a paper-signing process. That will bring us further away from engaged decision-making. 




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