March 18, 2024 – Each week, roughly 250,000 nursing home residents are given dangerous antipsychotic (AP) drugs. In most cases these dangerous drugs are administered without clinical justification.

AP drugs are associated with significant adverse outcomes in elderly individuals, including heart attacks, strokes, Parkinsonism, falls, and death. Despite these serious risks, too many nursing homes routinely use these drugs to sedate residents with dementia, rather than providing these residents with the care and services they need to live comfortably (and are entitled to under federal law).

For these reasons, it is important for the public to be aware of the AP drugging rates of the nursing homes in their states and communities. With this information, families can make informed choices about care and state and federal leaders can identify potentially substandard care, abuse, and fraud.

Today, LTCCC is releasing antipsychotic drugging rates (non-risk-adjusted) for US nursing homes for Q3 2023. The data show that AP drugs are being administered to an astonishing 20.4% of nursing homes residents. This is over 10x the rate of the population that will ever have a clinical diagnosis that the federal government identifies as potentially appropriate for the use of these drugs, such as schizophrenia. These non-risk-adjusted data are particularly important given the findings by the HHS Inspector General that potentially fraudulent schizophrenia diagnoses increased by 194% between 2015 – 2019.

LTCCC’s user-friendly datasets can be sorted by nursing home name, provider number, county, zip code, and antipsychotic drugging rates.

Selected highlights (Q3 2023)

  • One in 5 residents (20.4%) received APs in Q3 2023. That elevated rate has remained roughly constant since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • AP drugging rates vary significantly by state and CMS Regional Location.
  • Illinois (28.1%), Missouri (27.9%), and Louisiana (26.1%) had the highest rates of AP drugging; Hawaii (11.7%), Delaware (13.2%), and D.C. (14.5%) had the lowest rates of AP drugging.
  • CMS Region 7 (Kansas City) had the highest regional rate (24.7%); CMS Region 10 (Seattle) had the lowest (17.7%).

Note: LTCCC’s latest AP drugging quarterly datasets, obtained via CMS by FOIA request, are from Q3 2023 and Q2 2023. Files contain AP drugging rates for approximately 90% of all US nursing homes. AP drugging data from previous quarters are also available on this page.

PS: Check out our report, “A Decade of Drugging,” to learn more about AP drugging in US nursing homes and how dementia care has – and hasn’t – changed since the launch of federal campaign to reduce AP drug use. Our Dementia Care Advocacy Toolkit has free, easy-to-use resources for families to advocate for better dementia care.