CMS: SNF antipsychotic use at lowest level since 2011

Over the past five years the skilled nursing sector has made good progress on reducing the unnecessary use of antipsychotic medication, arriving at the lowest level since the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reduction mandate began in 2012.

The national average prevalence of such drugs in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) has dropped from nearly 24 percent in 2011—just prior to the start of the reduction initiative—to 16 percent as of Q4 2016, according to a new report from CMS.

All regions have reduced antipsychotic usage rates, but some have made more dramatic progress than others. Region 6 (Central South) once had the nation’s highest prevalence (about 28 percent in late 2011) but has dropped to just 17.6 percent as of the end of 2016. Region 2 (NY/NJ) and Region 9 (CA/NV/AZ) currently have the country’s lowest prevalence rates, at 12.8 percent and 12.5 percent respectively—well below the national average. Region 9 made the most progress during the 2012-2016 period, with an overall reduction of 41.4 percent, the largest usage change of any region.

As of the end of 2016, the five lowest state rates of antipsychotic use are in Hawaii, Alaska, the District of Columbia, New Jersey and Michigan. The five highest state rates are in Kansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Kentucky and Illinois.

In 2012, the CMS mandate set a national goal of a 30 percent overall reduction by the end of 2016 as part of its National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, a goal that was met nationally (33.2 percent reduction) and individually by all but two regions (7 and 8).

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Topics: Alzheimer's/Dementia , Executive Leadership , Medicare/Medicaid