Nursing homes have made strides toward reducing antipsychotic medication use among residents with dementia, according to new figures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living.

CMS and AHCA — the nation’s largest long-term care provider group — partnered on an antipsychotic reduction initiative in early 2012. The goal was to reduce nursing homes’ antipsychotic prescribing 15% by the end of last year. Nationwide, skilled nursing facilities reduced antipsychotic use by only 6% in 2012, but operators have made significant progress since, according to data released Tuesday.

Between the end of 2011 and the first quarter of 2013, antipsychotic use among long-stay nursing home residents decreased 9%, according to CMS. Eleven states have already met the 15% target and “others are quickly approaching that goal,” the agency reported. The 11 states are: Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vermont.

AHCA members are reducing antipsychotic use even more rapidly, with a 10.5% reduction since the end of 2011, the organization stated. In that time period, 42% of AHCA members, representing 3,391 facilities, have met the 15% goal.

“Our commitment to person-centered care is evident and will continue as we strive to reach our Quality Initiative’s 15 percent reduction goal,” said AHCA Board Chairman Neil Pruitt Jr., chairman and CEO of UHS-Pruitt Corporation.

The AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative has made resources for reducing antipsychotic use available. The Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes campaign also provides advice. The campaign recently unveiled an updated set of nine goals, including appropriate medication use.