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Texas Sees Significant Reduction in Antipshychotic Medication use in Nursing Home Residents

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CONTACT: Emilie Fennell
Director, Communications and External Relations

Austin, Texas – Dec. 18, 2023 – Long-stay nursing home residents throughout Texas are benefitting from quality improvement initiatives led by TMF Health Quality Institute and state partners, according to a report by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The most recent antipsychotic medication use data report from CMS’ National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes shows Texas now ranks third in the nation – a significant improvement from its previous ranking of 50 out of 51 – having greatly reduced the use of antipsychotic medications in nursing home residents who don’t have a recognized clinical need for the medication, such as a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Texas has one of the largest populations of nursing homes in the nation. According to the Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) Commission, in 2020 the state was home to 1,215 nursing facilities and 2,000 assisted living facilities. TMF has partnered with HHS, the Texas Health Care Association and other organizations throughout the state to achieve the common goal of CMS’ National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes.

Additionally, TMF has worked directly with staff at these nursing facilities over the years through contracts with the state and CMS to help improve the quality of life for their residents.

“The Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) contract CMS awarded TMF has allowed our health care quality improvement consultants to work alongside staff at nursing facilities across the state to learn what challenges their specific facility may face and tailor solutions and quality improvement interventions they can implement to help improve the quality of life for their residents,” said Susan Purcell, TMF project director, Improving Long-term Care in Nursing Homes and Skilled Nursing Facilities.

CMS launched the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes in 2012. Through this program, CMS tracks the use of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes by reviewing measures participating nursing homes publicly report and that are posted to the CMS-managed website Care Compare.

CMS contractors like TMF, who help administer the program and work with nursing facilities with residents who are enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid, have developed education and training materials to inform nursing home staff about alternatives to antipsychotic medication use, such as consistent staff assignments, increased exercise or additional time outside for residents and helping residents manage acute and chronic pain. TMF has also worked with nursing facility staff to help them find ways to educate residents’ family members about these alternatives.

“The CMS report highlights just how important the QIN-QIO work is within nursing homes and the health care community at large,” said Russell Kohl, MD, FAAFP, TMF’s chief medical officer and chief compliance officer. “Our staff work side-by-side with health care providers across care settings to improve the quality and strength of health care for Medicare beneficiaries. This report shows how the work of our partners and the QIN-QIO program facilitates positive and lasting change.”

About TMF Health Quality Institute
TMF Health Quality Institute focuses on improving lives by improving the quality of health care through contracts with federal, state and local governments, as well as private organizations. For 50 years, TMF has helped health care providers and practitioners in a variety of settings improve care for their patients.