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Antipsychotic Drug Use on the Decline in Nursing Homes

July 24, 2014

The use of antipsychotic drugs to treat dementia in U.S. nursing homes has decreased by more than 17 percent since late 2011, new data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shows.

The National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, a CMS initiative, reported (pdf) that in the first quarter of 2014, only 19.8 percent of long-stay nursing home residents were administered antipsychotic drugs to treat their dementia.

In the final quarter of 2011, by contrast, drugs were administered to 23.6 percent of such nursing home residents.

CMS data also indicates that all 50 states (and Washington, DC) saw their usage of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes decline over the same span.

Maine is the state with the steepest decline in drug use over that time, at 31.9 percent.

Hawaii, meanwhile, had the lowest rate of antipsychotic drug administration in the first quarter of 2014, at just 8.5 percent.

CMS launched the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes in May 2012. Since then, antipsychotic drug use in nursing homes has steadily declined, federal data shows.

The initiative aims to reduce the use of drugs by implementing comprehensive, interdisciplinary, and person-centered care practices to treat dementia in U.S nursing homes.

— by Matthew Ozga

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