by Deborah Espinola, CANHR Advocate
The Senate Special Committee on Aging recently issued a report recommending a reduction of the “needless prescription of dangerous drugs for nursing home residents” to cut national health care costs. (CANHR recommends eliminating needless dangerous drugs instead of merely reducing them but who are we to quibble?) The recommendation follows an OIG report issued earlier this year finding that well over one-hundred million Medicare dollars were squandered on erroneous claims for antipsychotic drugs for nursing home residents with dementia in just a six-month period. Eliminating needless prescriptions for antipsychotic drugs would not only save a bushel of Medicare money, it would improve dementia care outcomes and resident safety and be much more consistent with American notions of individual autonomy.