by Anthony Chicotel, CANHR Staff Attorney
Senators Grassley and Kohl, the co-chairs of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging recently wrote a letter to Center for Medicare Services’ Administrator Donald Berwick expressing new concerns about the role of nursing home pharmacists in the “overutilization” of antipsychotic drugs. Citing the financial incentives inherent to pharmacists to increase drug use, the Senators encouraged CMS to take action, via Medicare Part D, to subject antipsychotic prescriptions to increased oversight. By curbing drug overutilization, the federal government would save money on erroneous payments and residents would be spared the increased mortality associated with antipsychotics.
We applaud the Senators for keeping CMS’s feet to the fire.