Call to Halt Overprescription of Medications to Elderly Patients
Moorestown, NJ (Law Firm Newswire) November 16, 2012 - During a press conference at the state Capitol, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal announced his intent to halt the over-prescription of off-label antipsychotic drugs to nursing home patients.
Medical advocates and elderly care advocates also announced the formation of a Connecticut-based coalition made up of nursing home groups and public health employees. Their aim is to reduce the amount of antipsychotics prescribed to elderly patients by 15 percent, calling it "chemical restraint."
Sen. Blumenthal and the coalition of advocates, the Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, have stated that the extensive dispensing of antipsychotic medications to dementia patients, residing in long-term care facilities and nursing homes, is a form of elder abuse, no less offensive than using physical restraints. The medications in question include Olanzapine, Risperidone and Quetiapine.
Qualidigm, a Medicare quality improvement organization based in Connecticut, sponsors the coalition and Senator Bluemnthal's bill, which suggests alternative techniques for patient care, including touch therapy, music and comforting routines.
"While caring for elderly patients with dementia can bring extra challenges, we applaud the health care system taking steps to use less restrictive approaches to managing their care," stated New Jersey elder law attorney Thomas D. Begley, Jr.
The bill would require the consent from family members prior to use, and would require educational programs for prescribers and dispensing nursing home staff, as well as regular reporting on facility usage of antipsychotic drugs.
According to Blumenthal and the Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, the use of these medications for elderly dementia patients has not been approved by the FDA and can cause unresponsiveness, excessive sedation and can increase health risks such as stroke.
While the national average for prescribing these off-label antipsychotic drugs is 23.9 percent, Connecticut nursing homes currently prescribe these between 25 percent and 65 percent of the time. A report released last year by the Inspector General stated that 83 percent of nursing home care Medicare claims were for off-label conditions which included the prescribing of antipsychotic drugs.
To learn more about Begley Law Group call 1.800.533.7227 or visit www.begleylawgroup.com.
Begley Law Group, P.C.
509 S. Lenola Road, Building 7
Moorestown, NJ 08057
- ESTABLISHING A DISABILITY ANNUITY TRUST FOR A BENEFICIARY RECEIVING SSDI OR SSI
by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA A Disability Annuity Trust (“DAT”) can be established for a disabled child or any disabled individual. However, in considering the use of a DAT for a disabled person, care must be taken to examine the other government benefits currently being received, or which may be received in the future by the person with disabilities. If the person with disabilities is receiving Supplemental Security Disability Income (“SSDI”), this is usually accompanied by Medicare. SSDI and Medicare are insurance-based programs, rather than means-based programs. Receipt of income from the DAT would not cause a loss of [...]
- WHAT DOES “SOLE BENEFIT OF” MEAN WITH RESPECT TO A DISABILITY ANNUITY TRUST
by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA The key issue concerning trusts “for the sole benefit of” is availability. In a private letter, HCFA, now CMS, has taken the position that a trust established for the sole benefit of a community spouse under HCFA Transmittal 64 is an available resource. HCFA maintained that there is a material difference between a standard annuity and an “annuitized” trust. HCFA states: a standard annuity can protect the funds used to purchase the annuity from being counted as resources in determining eligibility for Medicaid. However, there is a fundamental difference between a standard annuity and [...]
- DISABILITY ANNUITY TRUSTS
by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA The Concept. A sole benefit of trust is a creature of HCFA Transmittal 64. These trusts have traditionally been used in crisis planning. They can be established for the benefit of disabled persons—a Disability Annuity Trust (“DAT”). The idea is that assets would be transferred to an irrevocable trust for the sole benefit of the disabled individual. The assets in the trust were then paid out to the beneficiary on an actuarially sound basis using the actuarial tables contained in HCFA Transmittal 64. However, some states, including New Jersey, maintain that despite the clear [...]
See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: new jersey elder law, new jersey elder law attorney, new jersey estate planning, new jersey estate planning attorney, new jersey estate planning lawyer, New Jersey personal injury settlement consultant, New Jersey Special Needs attorney, New Jersey Special Needs Lawyer, New Jersey Special Needs planning, new jersey veterans law, nj elder, nj estate planning, nj estate planning attorney