CMS report: Antipsychotic use in nursing homes drops 27%

The use of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes has declined 27% since the implementation of a federal initiative to improve dementia care, a recent report shows.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services established the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes in 2012, following a scathing report that found 83% of antipsychotic drug claims were made for nursing home residents without conditions for which antipsychotic use was approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Since the National Partnership's formation, nursing homes have decreased antipsychotic use by 27%, according to an update report on the program released on Friday. That brings the national prevalence of antipsychotics in nursing homes down to 17.4% in the third quarter of fiscal year 2015.

Success in reducing antipsychotic use has varied by state, the report's authors noted. Utah had the largest drop in antipsychotic use over four years, and is now at 41.7%. Hawaii ranked as the top state in terms of low antipsychotic prevalence, with just 7.4% of long-stay residents receiving the drugs in the third quarter of FY 2015.

Those figures put the National Partnership on track to meet goals established by the CMS that call for antipsychotic use to be reduced by 30% by the end of 2016.