» Call to Halt Overprescription of Medications to Elderly Patients

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
Tel: 800.533.7227


  • WHAT IS A SELF-SETTLED SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST?
    by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA Trusts for disabled individuals who have not reached age 65 and are funded with assets of the disabled person are authorized under OBRA-93.[1] The trust is for the benefit of disabled persons. The person must be under 65 at the inception of the trust. While the trust must be established and funded prior to the beneficiary attaining the age of 65, it may continue after 65. If the trust is funded with a structured settlement prior to the beneficiary attaining the age of 65, the trust remains viable even though payments from the annuity [...]
  • WHAT IS A THIRD PARTY SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST?
    by Thomas D. Begley, Jr., CELA A Third Party Special Needs Trust is usually used in a Medicaid context not for the benefit of the grantor of the trust, but for the beneficiary. The grantor of the trust is typically a parent, but could be grandparent, sibling, other relative or friend. The grantor uses the grantor’s assets to fund the trust. The assets of the beneficiary cannot be used to fund a Third Party Special Needs Trust. In order for the trust to be a Special Needs Trust, the beneficiary must be disabled. Disability is usually determined by the fact [...]
  • USING SELF-SETTLED SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS TO PROTECT PUBLIC BENEFITS
    Many public benefits available to persons with disabilities, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid, place limits on income and certain types of assets. Exceeding such limits can lead individuals to lose some or all of their benefits. Individuals receiving SSI are limited to $2,000 of assets. For many individuals, their Medicaid is linked to their SSI. Today there are many Medicaid Waiver Programs. In many states the asset limit for these waiver programs is also $2,000, but this varies from program-to-program and from state-to-state. Assets held in ABLE accounts do not affect SSI until the ABLE account reaches [...]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required