New goals for antipsychotics not unreasonable, leaders say

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AHQA President Adrienne Mims, M.D.
AHQA President Adrienne Mims, M.D.

Providers may grumble about renewed pressure to lower the use of antipsychotics among long-term care residents with dementia, but the industry has an opportunity to be a leader, said LeadingAge President and CEO Larry Minnix.

“As we continue to make progress in nursing home settings, where people often have to turn for dementia care, we look at it as not merely a nursing home issue,” he said. “We're on the front end of a revolutionary change with how people with this tough condition can be treated.”

Providers recently met a goal of reducing antipsychotics use by 15%. More aggressive goals have already been set.

Adrienne Mims, M.D., the president at the American Health Quality Association, joined the call with Minnix and other LTC leaders. She described AHQA as being part of “boots on the ground” and said that, based on success with antipsychotic-reduction in states such as Georgia, “these are very realistic goals.”

CMS Chief Medical Officer Patrick Conway, M.D., mentioned that a review of surveyor feedback, additional opportunities to report on national dementia care and technical assistance for Quality Improvement Organizations are among the tasks for CMS. The Five Star Quality Rating System will start including antipsychotics measurements in 2015, he added.