After years of pushing, long-term care facilities have reduced their use of antipsychotic medication for dementia, according to an April report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 

The National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes was formally launched in 2012, with the primary goal of reducing the prevalence of antipsychotic prescribing for dementia care by 15% within a year. The national prevalence of antipsychotic use among long-stay nursing home residents decreased 15.1% from the fourth quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2013. 

Yet, the statistic that 1 in 5 long-stay residents is on an antipsychotic shows “there’s still a long way to go,” said Cheryl Phillips, M.D., of LeadingAge. The implementation of team-based, person-centered care should continue to drive antipsychotic use down, but it is not a speedy process, she told McKnight’s

“This is just the beginning of these more long-lasting transformational changes that go beyond just antipsychotics,” she said.

CMS will set a new goal for 2014, according to the report.