CMS' quality improvement program made antipsychotic reduction, drug safety strides in 2015

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' Quality Innovation Networks showed significant success in reducing antipsychotic use, bolstering medication safety and improving care transitions in nursing homes, according to a 2015 progress report.

States covered by two of the QINs – programs designed to enhance the quality of services for Medicare beneficiaries — have achieved “large-scale” antipsychotic medication reductions through pilot efforts.

Nursing homes in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin that belong to the Lake Superior QIN saw antipsychotic use drop 18.5%, 28.9% and 28.7%, respectively, between 2011 and 2015, according to the progress report.

The Telligen QIN, which covers beneficiaries in Colorado, Iowa and Illinois, achieved a 36.4% decrease in antipsychotic use in Iowa during a 15-month pilot program, the report found. Telligen estimates that drop may result in yearly cost savings of $210,000 over the course of the project.

The progress report also found the partnerships fostered by the programs have resulted in improvements in care transitions and medication safety in nursing homes, pharmacies and large healthcare systems.

Click here to read the full 2015 CMS QIO Program Progress Report.