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⭒ New Developments

The CMS Campaign is Failing: Nursing Home Chemical Restraint Use Trending Upward Again

Some new data from CMS sadly shows the use of antipsychotic drugs to chemically restrain nursing home residents continues unabated. Twenty percent of California nursing home residents are drugged with antipsychotics in 2018, the same number as in 2015. There have also been no meaningful reductions in the use of other psychotropic drugs used to sedate nursing home residents. National numbers are similarly flat. In 2012, CMS initiated a national Partnership to Reduce the Use of Antipsychotics in Nursing Homes to great fanfare and for the next three years, antipsychotic use gradually diminished. In the last three years, CMS has reduced its already modest efforts and residents are again being drugged inappropriately, causing significant harm. The combination of rising drugging rates and pathetically weak regulatory enforcement were noted by the Long Term Care Community Coalition in an alert this week. Unless CMS acts, the drugging of nursing home residents is bound to rise once again to epidemic levels.