In 2012, CMS launched the Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes to promote comprehensive dementia care and therapeutic interventions for nursing home residents with dementia-related behaviors. The goals of this initiative include a focus on person-centered care and the reduction of unnecessary antipsychotic medication use in nursing homes and eventually other care settings as well.
CMS is using several approaches to successfully implement this initiative. They are developing and conducting trainings for nursing home providers, surveyors, and consumers. They are also conducting research, raising public awareness, using regulatory oversight, and public reporting to increase transparency.
In addition, CMS has partnered with national organizations to encourage communication among the national organizations and their members. The American Medical Directors Association (AMDA) and the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and LeadingAge have sent letters to their membership or State affiliates this summer. The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (Consumer Voice) sent a press release to their membership indicating their support for the initiative.
AMDA's letter sought to educate members about the issues to achieve the goals of the Partnership and encourages nursing home medical directors to join with AMDA and CMS in reducing the unnecessary use of antipsychotic agents by refocusing the interdisciplinary team on a better understanding of the root cause of dementia-related behaviors. The letter further provides medical directors with the tools and resources they might use to achieve this goal.
The Consumer Voice has advocated for the appropriate care for residents with dementia, which is important to residents, their families, and advocates. In meeting with former CMS Administrator Don Berwick, MD, and current Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, Consumer Voice advocated for strong leadership from CMS to end the misuse of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes.