National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes

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On the January 31st National Partnership call, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provided an overview of their efforts related to decreasing the use of antipsychotic medications and improving care to individuals with dementia. The slides are available online.

The following are highlights from the call:

  • CMS plans to develop/perfect additional antipsychotic measures to be sent to the National Quality Forum (NQF) for endorsement.
  • By the end of March, the Casper measure on antipsychotics on Five Star will be similar to the Nursing Home Compare antipsychotic measure.  Currently the measure exclusions differ and the differences have caused provider confusion.
  • If the national antipsychotic measure to reduce medication use by 15% by the end of 2012 is not achieved, CMS will continue to strive to reach the current goal.  If the goal is achieved, CMS plans to further develop additional measures and refine the existing ones.
  • Long Term Care Surveyors will be asking CNAs and others on all shifts about residents who are on antipsychotics.  Surveyors will also look at residents whose drugs were reduced and if other drugs have been added.

Last month, CMS sent to all nursing facilities, CMS regional offices and state survey agencies across the country a program called “Hand in Hand”.  The program includes three DVDs, a training series that focuses on treating people with dementia using person-centered care approaches.  To learn more or to request resource materials, please click here.