Cheryl Phillips, M.D.

Federal officials unveiled a medication reduction initiative with an ambitious goal: trimming antipsychotic drug use among residents by 15% this year.  

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services initiative is a partnership with three major elements:

• Starting a new training program for nursing home staff that emphasizes high-quality care and abuse prevention.

• Making data regarding antipsychotic use available on the Nursing Home Compare Website.

• Emphasizing nonpharmacological alternatives to drugs for nursing home residents.

Additional training and alternatives are effective ways to reduce medication in nursing homes, noted LeadingAge’s Cheryl Phillips, M.D. 

“We hope our partnership with CMS will help transform nursing homes into centers of excellence for the care of people with advanced dementia and serve as the learning laboratory for other healthcare settings facing this issue,” she said.

The American Health Care Association said earlier this year that members should reduce off-label use of atypical antipsychotics by 15% by the end of 2012, a “goal that is validated today by CMS and the partnership we have,” said David Gifford, M.D., AHCA Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs. n