June 3, 2024 – Each week, dangerous antipsychotic (AP) drugs are administered to approximately 250,000 nursing home residents, often without clinical justification. These medications pose significant risks for elderly individuals, including heart attacks, strokes, Parkinsonism, falls, and even death. Despite these severe adverse outcomes, too many nursing homes routinely use AP drugs to sedate residents living with dementia instead of providing the appropriate care and services that these residents need and are entitled to under federal law.

Because this problem is widespread and persistent, it is essential for the public to be aware of the AP drugging rates in nursing homes in their communities and states. These data can help families make informed care decisions and aid leaders in identifying and addressing substandard care, abuse, and fraud.

Today, LTCCC is releasing antipsychotic drugging rates (non-risk-adjusted) for US nursing homes for Q4 2023. LTCCC obtains these data from the federal government (CMS) via a FOIA request. The latest data show that AP drugs are being administered to more than one in five (21.3%) nursing home residents. This is more than 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.

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

Selected highlights (Q4 2023)

  • Antipsychotic drugging is trending up. Antipsychotic drugs were administered to 21.3% of nursing home residents, a 4.4% increase from the previous quarter.
  • Fewer facilities are providing these essential data to the federal government. The data set includes AP drugging data for only 12,334 nursing homes, a 10% decrease from the previous quarter (13,627). With only 80% of the 15,000 US nursing homes reporting their AP drugging data, how can we effectively address this serious problem? How can families know if a facility is safe?
  • AP drugging rates vary significantly by state and region.
    • Illinois (29.4%), Missouri (29.1%), and Louisiana (26.5%) had the highest rates of AP drugging in Q4 2023; Hawaii (12.8%), Delaware (14.3%), and D.C. (15.1%) had the lowest rates of AP drugging.
    • CMS Region 7 (Kansas City) had the highest regional rate (25.8%); CMS Region 6 (Texas) had the lowest (18.9%).

Note: LTCCC’s latest AP drugging quarterly datasets, obtained via CMS by FOIA request, include Q4 2023, Q1 2023, and Q4 2022. Files do not contain AP drugging rates for all US nursing homes.

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.