Antipsychotic medication use in nursing homes: A proposed measure of quality

Judith A. Lucas, Sujoy Chakravarty, John R. Bowblis, Tobias Gerhard, Ece Kalay, Eun Kwang Paek, Stephen Crystal

Publish Year: 2014

Objective: The potential misuse of antipsychotic medications (APMs) is an ongoing quality concern in nursing homes (NHs), especially given recent black box warnings and other evidence regarding the risk of APMs when used in NH populations. One mechanism regulators could use is public reporting of APM use by NHs; however, there is currently no agreed-upon measure of guideline-inconsistent APM use. In this paper, we describe a proposed measure of quality of APM use that is based on Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Interpretive Guidelines, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indications for APMs, and severity of behavioral symptoms.

Methods: The proposed measure identifies NH residents who receive an APM but do not have an approved indication for APM use. We demonstrate the feasibility of this measure using data from Medicaid-eligible long-stay residents aged 65 years and older in seven states. Using multivariable logistic regressions, we compare it to the current CMS Nursing Home Compare quality measure.

Results: We find that nearly 52% of residents receiving an APM lack indications approved by CMS/FDA guidelines compared with 85% for the current CMS quality measure. APM guideline-inconsistent use rates vary significantly across resident and facility characteristics, and states. Only our measure correlates with another quality indicator in that facilities with higher deficiencies have significantly higher odds of APM use. Predictors of inappropriate use are found to be consistent with other measures of NH quality, supporting the validity of our proposed measure.

Conclusion: The proposed measure provides an important foundation to improve APM prescribing practices without penalizing NHs when there are limited alternative treatments available.

Publisher: https://doi.org/10.1002/gps.4098