Goal: 15% drop in psych drugs

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is hoping that providers can add to their success when it comes to further lowering the use of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes.

CMS has a new goal of a 15% reduction by 2019 for providers that still have a high rate of use.

That target was announced Oct. 2, the same day the agency publicized that its National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care had accomplished its goal of reducing the national rate of antipsychotic use among long-stay skilled nursing residents by 30% by the end of 2016.

Overall, the national prevalence of antipsychotic use for long-stay residents fell 34% — from 23.9% in 2011 to 15.7% at the end of the first quarter of 2017. Tennessee, California, Arkansas and Washington, D.C., led the pack of high achievers.

While the Partnership's initial focus has been on reducing antipsychotic medication rates, “the larger mission is to enhance the use of non-pharmacologic approaches and person-centered dementia care practices,” CMS noted in its announcement.