Antipsychotic Drugs Prescribed for Elderly Patients Violate Government Standards

According to an unsettling report released by the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services, elderly residents in nursing homes are often prescribed antipsychotic drugs in a manner that violates government standards. This news is especially alarming for patients with dementia, as they are unable to advocate on their own behalf.

The report stresses the necessity for family members of nursing home residents to pay close attention to their loved one’s medications by asking questions and staying informed. It further cites that antipsychotic drugs are prescribed in ways that don’t qualify as “medically accepted” for Medicare coverage. Moreover, they are often prescribed for uses that are not approved by the FDA.

Disturbingly, the report uncovered that about 305,000 nursing home residents had atypical Medicare claims for antipsychotic drugs, and about one in five of these residents were prescribed meds in a way that violated government standards.

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