Proposed legislation reflects increasing focus on reducing anti-psychotic drug use in nursing homes

The reduction of antipsychotic drugs continues to be a hot-button topic for the federal government. First, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) announced its initiative to reduce antipsychotics in nursing homes by 15% by the end of 2013, and then the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) published its unflattering report on residents receiving atypical antipsychotic drugs. Last week, a bi-partisan group of Senators introduced legislation to provide further protection to nursing home residents.

As per a press release issued by Senator Richard Blumenthal’s office, “Senators Blumenthal, Kohl, Grassley Seek to Protect the Elderly and Taxpayers from Abusive Overprescribing of Antipsychotics,” the legislation is based on the OIG report referenced previously that antipsychotics are being misused. If passed, the proposed legislation would:

  • Require the development of a standardized protocol for obtaining informed consent before a resident could be given antipsychotic medications
  • Require a monthly aggregate report of antipsychotic drug use for each facility. This is an extension of the drug regimen review process that already exists in skilled nursing facilities.

If you are looking to learn more about implementing effective alternatives to antipsychotics in your nursing home, on October 3, 2012, CMS Compliance Group President Linda Elizaitis will be leading an audio conference for LeadingAge New York, “Managing Behaviors and Unnecessary Drugs.” The registration deadline is October 2, 2012 and must be completed online. Linda will be discussing how to assess difficult behaviors, implement effective alternatives to pharmacological interventions, and understanding the impact of F-329 in relationship to the QIS process.


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