CMS to Audit Use of Antipsychotic Medications

The agency will take steps to address inappropriate use in nursing homes.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin conducting targeted audits on nursing homes to find out if they are correctly diagnosing individuals with schizophrenia. A government watchdog report issued in November found about 80 percent of Medicare’s long-stay nursing home residents were prescribed a psychotropic drug from 2011 through 2019. Nursing home safety advocates have increasingly raised concerns that some nursing homes are administering schizophrenia medications to residents with or without schizophrenia, sedating them rather than providing them safe and healthy care. 

“We have made significant progress in decreasing the inappropriate use of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes, but more needs to be done,” CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure stated. “People in nursing homes deserve safe, high-quality care, and we are redoubling our oversight efforts to make sure that facilities are not prescribing unnecessary medications.” 

The agency said the misuse of antipsychotic drugs can be dangerous. 

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra stated, “No nursing home resident should be improperly diagnosed with schizophrenia or given an inappropriate antipsychotic. The steps we are taking today will help prevent these errors and give families peace of mind.”  

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For wisdom for Administrator Brooks-LaSure as she oversees the auditing of long-term care facilities.
  • For Secretary Becerra to seek God’s guidance as he heads his department.
  • That U.S. health officials would comply with laws and guidelines in ensuring the care of nursing home residents.

Sources: The Hill, Forbes


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