New Medicaid policy seeks to cut drug waste at facilities

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A new Medicaid policy that is days away from starting will seek to curb prescription drug waste at nursing homes.

Under the policy, state Medicaid programs have instructed nursing homes to return unused medications to pharmacies. Programs also have to ensure that Medicaid is repaid for unused treatments when nursing home patients die, are discharged or have their prescriptions changed, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. They also should limit the amount of medications provided to nursing homes at one time, CMS has ordered.

The policy, which takes effect April 1, will affect about 90,000 to 100,000 nursing home residents, the American Health Care Association estimates. Residents who are also covered through Medicare will not be affected.