Wednesday, May 25, 2016

New CMS Data Show Half of AHCA Members Hit 30 Percent Antipsychotics Reduction Goal Ahead of Schedule

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) today announced that half of its skilled nursing center members have reached or surpassed a nationwide goal in reducing antipsychotic usage by at least 30 percent, seven months ahead of the December 2016 deadline. As a result of the Association’s metric-based Quality Initiative and its partnership with CMS’ National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care, the overall decline in antipsychotic use in AHCA member centers is 30.4 percent. The achievement represents a faster rate of reduction than non-members, which currently show a 25 percent decrease.

“Reaching this goal seven months ahead of schedule highlights our profession’s commitment to improve the quality of life for individuals living with dementia,” said Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA. “This latest milestone means that tens of thousands of residents are no longer experiencing the negative effects of these medications. But we won’t stop with this announcement. We will continue to work with CMS and our Quality Initiative to set new, ambitious goals to reduce usage even more.”

Based on CMS data, 23.2 percent of long-stay residents in non-member centers and 23.6 percent in AHCA member centers were receiving an antipsychotic medication in 2011. Currently, 17.4 percent of residents in non-member centers and 16.4 percent of residents in AHCA member centers are on these medications.

“The sharp drop in usage shows how our members are driving change on a national level,” said Dr. David Gifford, AHCA Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs and a board-certified geriatrician. “Providers, residents and their families are clearly learning more about safer alternatives to treating dementia. Together with CMS and the Partnership, I’m confident we will continue to see progress.”

AHCA launched its metric-based Quality Initiative in 2012 and later joined CMS’ National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes 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. In 2014, AHCA and CMS set goals to further decrease the use of antipsychotics in skilled nursing centers by a total of 30 percent by December 2016.

In April, CMS added antipsychotic medications to its long-stay quality measure component of Nursing Home Compare to track and encourage improvements in skilled nursing care centers.

The Association expanded its Quality Initiative in May 2015 to include eight measurable targets that align with the CMS Quality Assurance/Performance Improvement (QAPI) program and federal mandates, such as Five-Star and the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act. For more information, visit the AHCA Quality Initiative website.

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