Senators Send Letter to HHS, Concerned About Antipsychotics

in Medication

GAO

According to an article from Politico, "A bipartisan pair of senators wants to know what HHS is doing to stop improper prescribing of antipsychotic drugs to seniors with dementia and how much taxpayers are shelling out to cover the cost of these drugs through Medicare Part D.

"A recent GAO report found that almost 30 percent of seniors with dementia living in nursing homes incorrectly received antipsychotic medications. 'We are deeply troubled by these findings,' Sens. Tom Carper of Delaware and Susan Collins of Maine wrote in a letter to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell on Friday. 'Caring for seniors who suffer from dementia is a difficult job — and a sacred one. We all want to know that our loved ones are receiving the quality of care and attention they deserve from the professionals to whom we entrust their care, and that their health and safety are not being put at risk because of poor oversight.'

"HHS is trying to combat over-prescribing through the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, and the senators want to know how the agency determined the initiative’s goal of reducing antipsychotic use in nursing home residents by 30 percent by the end of 2016. They also want to know what HHS is doing to help seniors who don’t live in nursing homes and to identify alternative treatments for dementia."

Read the Senators' press release and a copy of the letter here.

NCAL's Quality Initiative sets a nationwide goal for assisted living communities to safely reduce the off-label use of anti-psychotic medications by 15%.