AHCA reinforces skilled nursing’s commitment to person-centered care at launch
Washington, DC - The American Health Care Association (AHCA) helped launch today a new partnership aimed at ensuring appropriate care and use of antipsychotic medications for skilled nursing care center residents. Representing care providers, Dr. David Gifford, AHCA Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs, participated in a national announcement of the Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes - an alliance of federal and state partners, skilled nursing centers and other providers, advocacy groups and caregivers.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) initiative sets a national goal of reducing the use of antipsychotics drugs in nursing center residents by 15 percent by the end of 2012, coordinating with AHCA’s Quality Initiative antipsychotic goal announced in February. Through the partnership, providers will have access to enhanced training, publicly-reported data and information on alternatives to antipsychotic medications.
The following is a statement from Dr. Gifford regarding the launch of the partnership:
“While many clinicians and consumers believe these medications are effective, we know from medical literature that antipsychotics have limited effectiveness and actually increase the health risks for individuals. We also know there are many facilities that have very low use of antipsychotics and are focusing on non-pharmacological approaches that have been shown to improve care and quality of life for residents. It’s time to put everything we know to good use.
“Providers are up to the challenge. Earlier this year, our members committed to reducing the off-label use of antipsychotics by 15 percent by the end of 2012. AHCA is encouraged CMS and others are assuming this same mission by joining the Partnership to Improve Dementia Care. Through this partnership, AHCA and skilled nursing centers across the country have a confirmed commitment, additional assistance and a common cause to better serve our residents who are living with dementia.”
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About the AHCA Quality Initiative: The Quality Initiative is an effort that builds upon existing work of the long term and post-acute care profession in advancing quality care by setting specific, measurable targets to further improve quality of care in America’s skilled nursing centers and assisted living communities. The Quality Initiative embraces CMS’s Triple Aim of Better Health, Better Quality and Reduced Costs. For more information, please visit qualityinitiative.ahcancal.org.
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represent more than 12,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit www.ahca.org or www.ncal.org.