(HealthDay News) – There has been a decrease in the national prevalence of antipsychotic medication use among nursing home residents, according to a report published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Noting that in 2010 more than 17% of nursing home patients had daily doses of antipsychotics exceeding recommended levels, the CMS introduced the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in 2012. The Partnership’s goal is to decrease use of antipsychotics by 15% by the end of 2013. Methods to reduce inappropriate use include enhanced training for nursing home providers and state surveyors; increased transparency via online access to antipsychotic use data; and highlighting alternative strategies for dementia care.

According to the report, in the first quarter of 2013 there was a 9.1% decrease in the national prevalence of antipsychotic use among long-stay nursing home residents, compared with the last quarter of 2011. Approximately 30,000 fewer residents are now using these medications compared with the pre-National Partnership prevalence level. The 15% target has been reached or exceeded by at least 11 states.

“This important partnership to improve dementia care in nursing homes is yielding results,” Patrick Conway, MD, CMS chief medical officer and director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, said in a statement. “We will continue to work with clinicians, caregivers, and communities to improve care and eliminate harm for people living with dementia.”

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