LeadingAge Statement on CMS Reinforcing Safeguards against Unnecessary Medications and Treatments
Contact: Lisa Sanders
January 18, 2023 Washington, DC — Statement from Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO, LeadingAge, the association of nonprofit providers of aging services, in response to today’s announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of additional safety and transparency steps for nursing homes, including the appropriate use of antipsychotics:
“LeadingAge supports efforts to address the issue of inappropriate antipsychotic drug use among providers of all types. Our association was a leader in the creation of what is now the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, a program overseen by CMS. We were in on the ground floor of its development; we disseminated information about it to our members and we developed and provided tools and other resources to help our members meet goals for eliminating the medications. Much has been achieved since the program’s start in 2012, and nursing homes deserve a lot of the credit for the progress. Our members have innovated on non pharmaceutical means of caring for people with dementia. They’ve trained staff in alternative methods of care. They’ve disseminated information on methods that work.
There is more work to be done, however. We understand the challenges of implementing alternatives to drugs, particularly if programs that reduce the use of antipsychotics require more or specialized staff. There is a workforce shortage in skilled nursing. However, this is a serious quality of care and quality of life issue for residents. Inappropriate use of potent drugs can compromise a person’s overall health. If stepped up enforcement is needed, we support that approach.
At the same time, we urge CMS to address the issue of inappropriate antipsychotic use among providers of all types. Our members often tell us of having to admit residents who’ve been prescribed these meds while under the care of other providers. Health care is a team sport; all providers in the system must be held to the same expectation.”About LeadingAge:
We represent more than 5,000 nonprofit aging services providers and other mission-minded organizations that touch millions of lives every day. Alongside our members and 38 state partners, we use applied research, advocacy, education, and community-building to make America a better place to grow old. Our membership, which now includes the providers of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America, encompasses the continuum of services for people as they age, including those with disabilities. We bring together the most inventive minds in the field to lead and innovate solutions that support older adults wherever they call home. For more information visit leadingage.org.
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