Proposed legislation would regulate use of antipsychotics in nursing home residents

Share this article:
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI)

Three Senators have proposed legislation that would further regulate the administration of antipsychotic medications to nursing home residents.

The bipartisan bill, proposed Tuesday, would require nursing home staff to obtain informed consent from a resident or their legally designated representative acknowledging the potential risks and side effects associated with the antipsychotic medications. These prescription medications often are prescribed to elderly nursing home residents who experience aggressive or agitated behavior as a result of Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia.

The bill is an amendment to an existing Food and Drug Administration bill, S. 3187 and proposed by Sens. Herb Kohl (D-WI), Chuck Grassley, (R-IA) and Richard Blumenthal, (D-CT). It addresses growing concern about the safety of prescribing antipsychotics for “off label” use. Medications such as Risperdal and Haloperidol are only officially approved to treat mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.

“This amendment responds to alarming reports about the use of antipsychotic drugs with nursing home residents,” Grassley said in a statement. “It's intended to empower these residents and their loved ones in the decisions about the drugs prescribed for them.”

The legislation also follows a 2011 Office of the Inspector General report that uncovered widespread overuse of these medications in nursing homes despite “black box” warnings about them from the FDA. That report stated that more than half of the 1.4 million claims for atypical antipsychotic drugs totaled $116.5 million and did not comply with Medicare reimbursement criteria.

Share this article:

More in News

Rape investigation blocked by nursing home's HIPAA concerns, authorities say ...

Florida authorities say a nursing home is citing privacy laws to impede the investigation of a possible resident rape, according to local news reports.

Jury hands down $14 million negligent care verdict to 'send message' to nursing homes

Jury hands down $14 million negligent care verdict ...

A Massachusetts jury has awarded $14 million to the family of a nursing home resident who died due to a pressure ulcer, dehydration and other conditions linked to negligent care, ...

CCRC executive director salaries hold steady, therapy directors get boost

Continuing care retirement community executive director salaries have barely increased in the past year, while therapy and rehabilitation directors received a boost, a new report shows. The average salary for a therapy and rehab director is currently $95,905.