Antipsychotic Reduction Continues

For Immediate Release
April 24, 2017
Contact: Deborah Pacyna

SACRAMENTO – The number of residents in skilled nursing homes in California receiving antipsychotic medication has reached a new low according to a new report from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Put another way, California ranks sixth best in the nation in reducing the use of antipsychotic medication in patients who suffer from dementia or other cognitive impairments.

During the fourth quarter of 2016, one in eight California nursing home residents, or 12.4 percent were prescribed antipsychotic medication, according to federal regulators. That compares to an average of 16 percent of residents who are receiving antipsychotics across the nation.

California is a participant in the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care, an effort to deliver comprehensive, person-centered care with a focus on limiting antipsychotic medications unless there is a valid, clinical indication of need.

In Q4 2011, when the partnership was established, 23.9 percent of nursing home residents were receiving antipsychotic medication. Many states have since reduced their use by more than 30 percent. During the past six years, California providers reduced the use of antipsychotics by 42.4 percent.

“This is a big deal for California because of the enormous number of skilled nursing homes here, compared to the rest of the country,” said Jim Gomez, CEO/president of the California Association of Health Facilities. “Our members worked hard to achieve and surpass the goals of the national antipsychotic partnership campaign.”