June Kelly looking at photos of her mother, Marilyn
The administration of President Donald Trump is seeking to curtail nursing home regulations, including those that limit the use of antipsychotic drugs in dementia patients.
NPR reported Saturday that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which regulates nursing homes, is proposing a slate of rules that would save operators a collective $600 million annually. The proposal is the latest way the Trump administration is working to loosen strict federal oversight of the industry. CMS has already reduced the fines paid by homes that violate rules.
Using certain antipsychotic drugs to medicate elders with dementia has been widely criticized because that can hasten cognitive decline. Last week, Seven Days and Vermont Public Radio reported allegations by Vermont women that their late mother, Marilyn Kelly, had been quietly drugged with daily doses of Haldol, a powerful and sedating medication, in a residential care home in Rutland.
Residential care homes such as Our House Too and assisted living facilities are regulated by states, and the Trump proposal would not immediately affect the 133 such facilities in Vermont.
But 40 nursing homes in the state would be affected.
Eldercare advocates have criticized the proposal, which would extend the amount of time for which doctors could prescribe antipsychotic drugs to nursing home residents between examinations, NPR reported.
About the Series
To report and write the Worse for Care series, Seven Days and Vermont Public Radio joined forces to analyze five years worth of state inspection reports and complaints involving Vermont’s 133 residential care and assisted living facilities.
Seven Days data editor Andrea Suozzo created the Vermont Eldercare Navigator, a searchable online database that details what state inspectors found at these homes.
Audio stories are available at vpr.org.