Reducing Antipsychotic Drugs in LTC Program Scheduled for October 17th

While officials with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently publicized a decline in antipsychotic use for long-stay nursing home residents, Virginia’s efforts to reduce the use of antipsychotic medications has not shown great improvement subsequent to the launch of the “National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care”. More than half of Virginia’s facilities actually INCREASED their average rate of use in the most recent quarter. The CMS Partnership, established in 2012 to address an increasing trend in antipsychotic use in nursing facilities, set a goal to improve the quality of care to individuals with dementia with care that is person-centered, comprehensive and interdisciplinary, and protects residents from being prescribed antipsychotic medications unless there is a valid, clinical indication and a systematic process to evaluate each individual.

To assist nursing facilities with expanding their knowledge and improving practices for reducing unnecessary medications, VHCA/VCAL is pleased to present a full-day program on reduction of antipsychotics with strategies for implementing non-pharmacy approaches to personalized care. Planned in collaboration with VHQC (Virginia’s Quality Improvement Organization) and the Community Partnership for Improved Long Term Care, this program will provide important and practical information for all long term care providers including assisted living facilities.

A highlight of the program will be a presentation by Alice Bonner, former Director of the CMS Division of Nursing Homes, who will discuss CMS policies with emphasis on the benefits of reducing unnecessary antipsychotic medications. She will also review the updated guidance to surveyors for F Tags 329 and 309. Dr. Bonner led the CMS team that developed and implemented the “National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care and Reduce Unnecessary Antipsychotic Medications in Nursing Homes”, the landmark public-private campaign establishing coalitions in every state, including Virginia.  Additional highlights include sessions by noted geriatricians practicing in LTC.

The program will feature sessions that will examine the physician’s role as prescriber; identify clinical issues influencing decisions regarding medications for LTC residents; explore the pharmacist‘s role in drug regimen reviews to identify unnecessary medications; evaluate the psychologist’s perspective on innovative approaches to intervention with residents demonstrating difficult behaviors; and review systems to decrease the use of inappropriate medications. Presenters will address collaborating with physicians and other team members to achieve the goals of reducing or minimizing the use of psychotropic medications in residents with dementia.

Panelists from multiple disciplines will share perspectives and discuss best practices for reducing antipsychotic medication use and describe innovative non-pharmacological approaches to resident care. They will offer insight into implementing systems and processes to create effective treatment plans to minimize the use of antipsychotics.

Program objectives include:

  • Review the CMS policy for reducing unnecessary medications in facilities and updated Guidance to Surveyors.
  • Address the physician’s role in long term care, both as Medical Director and attending physician, and efforts leading to effective clinical management of antipsychotics.
  • Understand the changing role of the pharmacist as part of the team in reducing unnecessary medications.
  • Examine strategies for behavioral alternatives to antipsychotics for residents with dementia.
  • Identify how to engage physicians, facility staff, and families in communication related to decisions regarding medications.
  • Evaluate innovative and internal systems to promote individualization of resident care.

The program is scheduled for October 17 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Richmond - Midlothian (formerly known as the Holiday Inn Koger Conference Center.)  Register today.