Most Ky. nursing homes give more antipsychotic drugs to non-psychotic patients than U.S. median, but get little attention so far

Most Kentucky nursing homes exceeded the national average of the share of residents without psychosis or a related condition who nevertheless received
antipsychotic drugs, according to federal data gathered by The Boston Globe and distributed by Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform.

The data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services showed that 16.7 percent of patients fell into that category, and that 161 of the 280 Kentucky nursing facilities for which data were available exceeded the national average. Twenty had percentages more than double the national average, and three were more than triple: the Glasgow State Nursing Facility, at 62 percent; Arbor Place of Clinton, 61 percent; and the nursing home at Western State Hospital in Hopkinsville, 60 percent.

The data are for 2010. Nursing homes were not included if there were no data
on antipsychotic drug use. Some data were taken from
2009 because no 2010 data were available. The Globe put the data into an easily reviewable database, available here, the Kentucky reform group issued a press release about it on June 14, and Kentucky Health News reported it on June 22.

However, only two Kentucky newspapers have reported on the survey and a local facility that exceeded the national average, according to our limited subscriptions and the news-clipping service subscribed to by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and shared with Kentucky Health News. Those were the Kentucky New Era in Hopkinsville, which mentioned several facilities in its area (Western State’s director said state policy prevented him from commenting), and The Anderson News of Lawrenceburg. Its June 20 edition had a story focusing on Heritage Hall in Lawrenceburg, where 20 percent of non-psychotic patients received antipsychotic drugs.

A spokesman for Heritage Hall’s operator, Elmcroft Senior Living and Memory Care of Louisville, told Anderson News Editor Ben Carlson that physicians “may choose to prescribe a medication such as antipsychotics without a diagnosis of psychosis or related condition such as controlling a patient’s anxiety over a specific disease process.”

Bernie Vonderheide, spokesman for the reform group, told Carlson that it suspects that many nursing homes use the drugs to keep patients under control and to avoid hiring more staff. “That is the single biggest problem in nursing homes, the lack of caregivers.” (Read more; the New Era’s story is behind a pay wall.)

Besides the Glasgow, Clinton and Hopkinsville facilities, the following had a percentage of non-psychotic patients receiving antipsychotic drugs that was more than double the national average:

Dawson Pointe, Dawson Springs 49%
Dover Manor, Georgetown, 49%
Edgemont Health Care, Cythiana, 46%
Pineville Community Hospital, Pineville, 44%
Edgewood Estates, Frenchburg, 42%
Wesley Manor Nursing Center, Louisville, 42%
Wellington Parc of Owensboro, 42%
Stanton Nursing Center, Stanton, 41%
Shady Lawn Nursing Home, Cadiz, 41%
Charleston Health Care Center, Danville, 37.5%
Breckinridge Memorial Nursing Facility, Hardinsburg, 37%
Cedar Ridge Health Campus, Cynthiana, 37%
Brighton Cornerstone Health Care, Madisonville, 36%
Carmel Home, Owensboro, 36%
Ridgeway Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility, Owingsville, 36%
J.J. Jordan Geriatric Center, Louisa, 35%
Medco Center of Henderson, 35%
Wolfe County Health and Rehabilitation Center, Campton, 34%
(Figures are rounded to the nearest percentage unless .5)

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