Facilities approach 15% goal for antipsychotics reduction

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AHCA's David Gifford
AHCA's David Gifford

For decades, many providers have viewed antipsychotic drugs as a necessary evil for treating residents with dementia. But increasingly, these medications are just being seen as evil. So it's hardly a surprise that the government and the long-term care field are praising notable progress toward reducing their use by 15%.

Already, 11 states have reached the target, while many other states are getting close, according to federal figures. The American Health Care Association noted that nearly half of its members have already reached the target. LeadingAge leaders also have heralded success stories. 

David Gifford, M.D., senior vice president for quality and regulatory affairs at AHCA, said he is heartened.

“Skilled nursing care centers nationwide — and specifically, AHCA members — have demonstrated their dedication to addressing this issue head on,” he said. “There is more work to be done, and the profession remains focused on this effort to ensure our residents enjoy the highest quality of care and quality of life.”

The National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care was launched in 2012 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The project's ambitious goal was to curtail the broad over-prescription of antipsychotics. 

“This important partnership to improve dementia care in nursing homes is yielding results,” said Patrick Conway, M.D., CMS chief medical officer and director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality.


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