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Nearly All Nursing Homes Fail Federal Rules on Anti-Psychotics

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, July 13, 2012

A year ago, the OIG, which is a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, published a report saying that about half of anti-psychotic medications given to Medicare beneficiaries in nursing homes  were not for medically accepted indications, and one in five were not given in accordance with federal safeguards to protect residents from unnecessary use.

The latest report takes the investigation one step further by looking at whether all four requirements in the process of determining appropriate use of those anti-psychotics in nursing homes were met.

The OIG recommends that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should do more to improve the process, specifically by modifying the survey "to target a small subsample of residents receiving anti-psychotic drugs focusing on the quality of care for these particularly vulnerable residents."

Also, CMS could require that nursing facilities document any efforts “to include the participation of residents, their families, or their legal representatives" in developing care plans.

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2 comments on "Nearly All Nursing Homes Fail Federal Rules on Anti-Psychotics"


lynn (7/14/2012 at 12:39 AM)
I have always said that we nurses and health Care Professionals need to look at different ways to help patients with Psych difficulties-these patients have lost their homes ect..high stress time for them.I hate it when a team of psych comes in and puts an elderly patient on an antidepressant- antipsychotic-mood stabilizer...you know that patient is most likely going to become lethargic and have a decreased appetite so they will loose weight become dehydrated ect ect..then you will go to a ''care plan'' meeting and they will all sit around and say "whats up with mrs Smith-she has lost weight-and lethargic" Makes no sence to me.I am glad that the field is starting to look at new avenues to handle this problem.

Susan Ward (7/13/2012 at 10:35 AM)
Psychiatrists and psychologists won't come to the hospital to evaluate a drug overdose patient, but the federal experts think they should visit nursing homes regularly to assess patients and help develop the plan of care. You have set almost every nursing home up to be noncompliant with the regulations. These experts need to spend some time in the nursing homes and observe the care patients receive and see how easy it is to get a physician to visit and assess patients, let alone a psychiatrist. It is time the people who make the regulations get out into the real world and learn what goes on day to day in health care.