Antipsychotic drugs in SD nursing homes has declined; more work on the horizon

Nursing homes in South Dakota have significantly reduced the use of antipsychotic drugs for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients in the last five years, however more work remains to be done as evidenced by a recent Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) report.

CMS partnered with state agencies, nursing homes, advocacy groups, caregivers and others in 2012 to improve comprehensive dementia care. The result has been positive in South Dakota with nursing facilities reducing the use of antipsychotic drugs from 21.5 percent in 2012 to 16.8 percent in 2017. The national average changed from 23.9 percent in 2012 to 15.7 percent in 2017.

Even though positive strides have been made nationwide, CMS has called for an additional 15 percent reduction by 2019 for nursing homes that have lagged in curtailing use of antipsychotics. South Dakota nursing facilities continue to take steps to reach CMS’s 2019 goal, including the expansion of the Music and Memory℠ program for residents as reported in a SDAHO January article.