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Concerned Over Nursing Home Abuse, Feds Aim to Reduce Antipsychotic Drug Prescriptions

June 2, 2012

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are requesting that nursing homes try to avoid giving antipsychotic medications to residents and instead focus more on quality of care to avoid overuse of these potentially harmful drugs.

Of particular concern is giving antipsychotic drugs to dementia patients. The Food and Drug Administration does not indicate antipsychotics drugs for treatment of dementia, and studies have shown such medication leads to a higher risk of death.

Instead of doling out drugs, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recommends that nursing home physicians provide better pain management, and nursing home staff help residents get more exercise and outdoor time. They also recommend that nursing home staff members provide care with the same residents so that staff and residents can build a good relationship which could avoid occasions of patient outbursts and subsequent giving of antipsychotic drugs.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would like to see a 15% reduction of antipsychotic medication use among nursing home residents by the end of the year.

The overmedication of nursing home residents is yet another tragic form of nursing home abuse found in nursing homes all over the country. If you think a loved one is being given too much or not enough medication first alert nursing home staff about the potential problem. Then contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss your legal options.