Specialized Information for:

Long-Term Care ConsumersFamily MembersAdvocatesCOVID-19

News Article

Back to News Listing

Government Goals Do Too Little to End Rampant Misuse of Antipsychotic Drugs in Nursing Homes

September 22, 2014

The Consumer Voice has published a press release in response to the CMS announcement of new goals for reducing antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes.  The Consumer Voice, along with the Center for Medicare Advocacy, California Advocates for Nursing Home Care, and Long Term Care Community Coalition, stated that CMS's incremental goals to reduce rampant misuse of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes are doing too little to protect elderly residents.  In a July 28 letter to CMS, the advocacy groups say that the goals, which many nursing homes ignore with impunity, will "not meaningfully improve current drugging practices."  

CMS challenged nursing homes to reduce antipsychotics by 15 percent by the end of 2012.  While the goal was not reached until December 2013, a full year after the target date, CMS did not step up enforcement against facilities that violate long-standing regulations that prohibit the use of unnecessary drugs and chemical restraints.  Instead, it announced it would initiatie a new round of goal-setting.  The consumer groups said when CMS set the initial 15 percent goal and extended it by a year when providers failed to meet that goal, it sent a message that a great deal of misuse is acceptable.  The advocates asked, "How much more time do nursing homes need to learn how to provide basic care to residents?  Every day we go without significantly greater antipsychotic reductions is a failure to the hundreds of thousands of residents whose lives are diminished and curtailed by the continued, well-documented overuse of antipsychotics."

Read the press release here.

Read the letter here.

The Consumer Voice is actively fighting to end the misuse of antipsychotic drugs as chemical restraints.  For more information, visit our issue page.

Back to News Listing