Nursing homes should prepare to meet antipsychotic reduction goals, quality chief says

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The American Health Care Association's David Gifford, M.D., is offering tips for nursing homes looking to meet regulator and trade group deadlines for reducing antipsychotics use.

Quality initiatives launched by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and AHCA have targeted Dec. 31 as the deadline for long-term care facilities to cut their antipsychotic use by 15%. Gifford, AHCA's senior vice president of quality and regulatory affairs, told McKnight's Editor Jim Berklan that facilities can get this process started with residents who don't need these medications on a daily basis.

“Certainly, initially, they can target individuals who are on PRN or as- needed doses or very low doses,” Gifford said. “Literature suggests you can safely withdraw people from that medication. And the vast majority do not need to have it restarted.”

Gifford also encouraged member facilities to apply for the association's National Quality Award Program. The deadline for applications is Nov. 1. The awards are based on the criteria for the Baldridge Performance Excellence Program.

Click on the video posted above of Berklan's interview with Gifford at the AHCA annual conference in Tampa earlier this week.

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