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New Legislation Would Require Monthly Report of Antipsychotic Use in Nursing Homes

An article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News is reporting that lawmakers have introduced a proposal that would require skilled nursing facilities to conduct a drug regimen review process as well as provide monthly reports on the use of antipsychotics in facilities.

Called the Improving Dementia Care Treatment in Older Adults Act, the new legislation would require nursing homes to standardize the process for getting informed consent from a resident or their legally designated representative, so that residents are made aware of any risks or side effects of the medication. The legislation will also create education programs and campaigns to promote non-drug treatments for aggressive dementia partients.

In the article, Sen. Herb Kohl, chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, said, “Our legislation provides some straightforward and commonsense steps that will help decrease the improper, dangerous and costly use of antipsychotics and accelerate the shift toward the broader use of safer alternatives.”

The goal of the proposal, to reduce the use of antipsychotic medication, became a hot topic in 2011 when a report from the Office of the Inspector General found that more than half of the claims for atypical antipsychotic drugs did not comply with Medicare reimbursement criteria.