The CMS will push nursing homes to reduce their use of antipsychotic medications by 25% by the end of 2015 and plans to incorporate a measure of the drugs' use to its star-rating system for consumers.
“We know that many of the diagnoses in nursing home residents do not merit antipsychotics but they were being used anyway,” Dr. Patrick Conway, deputy administrator for innovation and quality and the CMS' chief medical officer said Friday. He said the agency has set “ambitious goals” and that ultimately, nursing homes should “rethink their approach to dementia care.”
Of 2.1 million elderly nursing home residents, about 14% (304,983) had at least one Medicare claim for an atypical antipsychotic drug between Jan. 1 2007 and June 30, 2007, according to a 2011 analysis by HHS' inspector general's office. Claims for elderly nursing home residents accounted for 20% of the total 8.5 million claims for atypical antipsychotic drugs for all Medicare beneficiaries, a cost of $309 million, the OIG found.