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 AHCA Members Record Progress in Reducing Use of Antipsychotics

New government data show that skilled nursing facilities that are members of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) recorded a greater percent reduction than nonmember facilities in the use of antipsychotic drugs from 2011 to 2018, the trade association said on Oct. 2.ew government data show that skilled nursing facilities that are members of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) recorded a greater percent reduction than nonmember facilities in the use of antipsychotic drugs from 2011 to 2018, the trade association said on Oct. 2.

The AHCA member percent reduction was 37.2 percent and nonmembers, 34.4 percent.

According to the new statistics from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), 23.6 percent of residents in AHCA member centers received an antipsychotic medication in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with 14.8 percent of residents in the first quarter of 2018.

“There is no question that the data released by CMS show that nursing homes are reducing unnecessary medication use,” said AHCA Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs David Gifford, MD.

“Nearly seven years ago, AHCA members set a goal to reduce unnecessary antipsychotic medication use. We’ve achieved that and more. Now, we are working toward a new goal: another 10 percent reduction by 2021.”

AHCA’s metric-based Quality Initiative and its partnership with CMS’ National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care has spurred a nationwide decline in antipsychotic use of 36.2 percent, the association said.

Launched in 2012, the AHCA Quality Initiative later joined the National Partnership to raise awareness about safe alternatives to antipsychotic medications for residents and patients with dementia through a systems-based and person-centered approach to care.

Access more information on the AHCA Quality Initiative at www.ahcancal.org/quality_improvement/qualityinitiative/Pages/default.aspx.

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