Washington, D.C. — The American Health Care Association (AHCA) Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs and board-certified geriatrician Dr. David Gifford today issued the following statement regarding a Human Rights Watch report on the use of antipsychotic medications in skilled nursing care centers:
"Skilled nursing providers across the country have worked tirelessly to safely reduce the unnecessary use of antipsychotic medications over the last six years. This report does little to highlight the effort launched by our profession in 2012 that has resulted in a dramatic decline in the use of these medications, with more than half of our members achieving at least a 30 percent reduction. Of course there is more to be done. A critical next step is finding ways to engage hospitals and other health care providers in this effort, since a significant number of patients enter our facilities already on these medications. Skilled nursing providers will continue to collaborate with families, regulators and other health care providers to find solutions to address this issue."
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represents more than 13,700 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.