CMS and AHCA Call for Reduced Use of Antipsychotic Drugs — How are You Addressing this Issue?

May 08, 2012
Chris Perna, The Eden Alternative Blog

The Eden Alternative and other culture change movements have been fighting for decades against the misuse of antipsychotic medications on nursing home residents living with dementia. Now, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched a national action plan aimed at reducing the use of antipsychotics by raising public awareness, increasing public reporting, regulatory oversight and research and assistance.

We believe this initiative has potential to make a strong impact because CMS designed it to enhance person-centered care for nursing home residents, particularly those living with dementia. The goal is to reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs in skilled nursing communities by 15 percent before the end of 2012. This measure mirrors a similar goal launched recently by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) as part of its Quality Initiative, which charges its members to safely reduce the off-label use of antipsychotics by 15 percent by the end of 2012.

This is a call to action and culture change adopters are leading the way. The Eden Alternative has responded by launching two new groundbreaking trainings to help reduce the off-label use of antipsychotic drugs: Reframing Dementia and Dementia Beyond Drugs. These education programs are designed to introduce providers to fundamental and advanced techniques in person-directed care that have been proven to reduce the off-label use of antipsychotic drugs. Reframing Dementia highlights building meaningful relationships with individuals who live with dementia, as an essential first step to care that puts the person first. Dementia Beyond Drugs takes the learning to the next level through application of advanced skills integral to Dr. Al Power’s “Experiential Model” as described in his award- winning book with the same title.

If you are interested in learning more about these trainings, please contact Meredith Burrus, Education Coordinator at The Eden Alternative. Her contact information is and (615) 785-1600.


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