Friday, May 31, 2013

CMS Updates Information on Antipsychotic Use in Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated information on reducing antipsychotic use in nursing homes. In March 2012, CMS launched the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care and Reduce Unnecessary Antipsychotic Drug Use in Nursing Homes, now called the Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes. The partnership's goal is to optimize the quality of life and function of nursing home residents by improving the way in which their general health, psychosocial, and mental health needs, and especially those of residents with dementia, are addressed.

CMS said this week that part of its efforts include producing three surveyor training videos, which can be found here, as well as updating two of the appendices in its State Operations Manual. The appendix changes are intended to ensure that survey samples include an adequate number of residents with dementia who are receiving an antipsychotic medication, and a new section of guidance on reviewing care and services for a resident with dementia. "Individualized, person-centered approaches may help reduce potentially distressing or harmful behaviors and promote improved functional abilities and quality of life for residents," said CMS. Read the CMS memo detailing the changes here

The mortality risk associated with using antipsychotics in the elderly can vary greatly, said a team of researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Read more about their findings in Psychiatric News here

(Image: Alexander Raths/


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