Skilled nursing facilities have achieved sizable decreases in the use of antipsychotics in the past seven years, the American Health Care Association announced Tuesday.
AHCA noted that its skilled-nursing members have been able to drop use of the drugs to a greater degree that non-SNF members between 2011 and 2018. During that time span, AHCA members decreased antipsychotic use by 37.2%, compared to 34.4% for non-members, the association said, citing new information from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
“There is no question that the data released by CMS shows that nursing homes are reducing unnecessary medication use,” AHCA Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs David Gifford, M.D., said in a statement. “Nearly seven years ago, AHCA members set a goal to reduce unnecessary antipsychotic medication use. We’ve achieved that and more.”
AHCA is now working to reduce antipsychotic use by another 10% by 2021. The association tied the already-made gains to its quality initiative, launched in 2012, and linking up with the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes to raise awareness to about safe alternatives to using tranquilizers. There’s been a 36.2% decline, nationwide, in antipsychotic use, since the initiative started, AHCA noted.