CMS National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes
To learn more about the benefits of the CMS Partnership click here.
The National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care is a coalition of public and private organizations that advocate for improved dementia care through the use of personalized and comprehensive care protocols. It is spearheaded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which has a goal of reducing the use of antipsychotic medications in long-term care nursing home facilities. Members of the coalition agree that nursing home residents should be individually evaluated, diagnosed and treated according to their unique needs.
In the past, CMS has been successful in reducing national prevalence of antipsychotic use in nursing home residents, successfully lowering rates by 15.1 percent between 2011 and 2013. Now, the National Partnership is working to further reduce antipsychotic rates.
One member of the National Partnership – the American Health Care Association – has produced its own quality initiative in alliance with the National Center for Assisted Living. It is challenging long-term care providers to set and reach concrete goals over the next few years.
At MediTelecare, we encourage our clients to participate in this challenge, dramatically improving quality of life for nursing home residents.
American Health Care Association (AHCA) Quality Initiative
The AHCA Quality Initiative is a national, multi-year effort to further improve quality of care in America’s long term and post-acute care centers.
A large number of the individuals in skilled nursing centers are living with some type of dementia. For these individuals and as illness progresses, behavior often becomes a key form of communication. This can be challenging for families and staff, and too often, antipsychotic medication is used in an attempt to modify behavior. The use of antipsychotic medication to treat behavior associated with dementia is not supported clinically and is considered off-label by the FDA, which issued a “black box warning” for the elderly with dementia.
Antipsychotic drugs are expensive, costing hundreds of millions of Medicare dollars. They also increase the risk of death, falls with fractures, hospitalizations and other complications resulting in poor health and high costs.
The goal of the AHCA Quality Initiative is to safely reduce the off-label use of antipsychotics. This initiative encourages alternative strategies for responding to challenging behavioral expressions in patients living with dementia before considering medications and to ensure that antipsychotic medications, when used, are appropriate and safe.
For more information on the AHCA quality initiative: click here.
For more information about how telehealth psychiatry and psychology can help your facility achieve the CMS goal and AHCA quality initiative, contact our office.