Trends in antipsychotic prescribing among long-term care residents receiving hospice care

Lauren B. Gerlach, Shekinah Fashaw, Julie Strominger, Jessica Ogarek, Andrew R. Zullo, Lori A. Daiello, Joan Teno, Theresa I. Shireman, Julie P.W. Bynum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Importance: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes (“CMS National Partnership”) focuses on reducing antipsychotic prescribing to long-term care residents. Hospice enrollment is not an exclusionary condition for the antipsychotic quality measure reported by CMS. It is unclear how prescribing in hospice may have been impacted by the initiative. Objective: Estimate the association of the CMS National Partnership with trends in antipsychotic prescribing among long-term care residents in hospice. Design: Interrupted time-series analysis of a 100% Minimum Data Set sample with linked hospice claims from 2011 to 2017. Setting: Long-term care nursing facilities. Participants: Older adults ≥65 residing in long-term care (n = 3,741,379) and limited to those enrolled in hospice (n = 821,610). Main outcome: Quarterly prevalence of antipsychotic and other psychotropic (antianxiety, hypnotic, antidepressant) use among long-term care residents; overall and among residents with dementia, stratified by hospice enrollment. Results: From 2011 to 2017, parallel declines in antipsychotic prescribing were observed among long-term care residents enrolled and not enrolled in hospice (hospice: decline from 26.8% to 18.7%; non-hospice: decline from 23.0% to 14.4%). Following the 2012 CMS National Partnership, quarterly rates of antipsychotic prescribing declined significantly for both residents enrolled and not enrolled in hospice care. Declines in antipsychotic prescribing were greater for residents with dementia, with similar rates among residents enrolled and not enrolled in hospice. Among residents with dementia enrolled in hospice, use of other psychotropic medication classes including antianxiety, antidepressant, and hypnotic use remained relatively stable over time. Conclusions and relevance: Declines in antipsychotic prescribing during the CMS National Partnership occurred among long-term care residents in hospice, where use may be deemed clinically appropriate. Nursing homes are an important location for the provision of dementia end-of-life care and the drivers of potentially unintended reductions in antipsychotic use merits further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2152-2162
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • antipsychotic medication
  • hospice
  • nursing home

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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