CHA News Article

CDPH Issues AFL on Dementia Care and Reducing Antipsychotic Drug Use in SNFs

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued the attached All Facilities Letter encouraging general acute care hospitals (GACHs) to assist in transferring patients to skilled-nursing facilities (SNFs) by ensuring their transfer documents include informed consent, specifically as it relates to psychotherapeutic drugs. In order for a SNF to accept a patient, the SNF must be able to verify that informed consent was obtained for any continuing psychotherapeutic drug prescriptions. The informed consent requirement for SNF admission is more broad than for GACHs and applies to all psychotherapeutic medications (e.g., antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anxiolytics, hypnotics, etc.). To facilitate timely and effective transfer of a patient between a GACH and a SNF, hospitals may choose to encourage appropriate staff (case managers, discharge planners, transferring physicians and providers) to include consent information for all psychotherapeutic drugs obtained from the patient or their designee as part of the patient’s transfer summary. 

CHA is working with the California Continuing Campaign to Improve Dementia Care and Reduce Unnecessary Antipsychotic Drug Use in Nursing Homes. The partnership action plan includes four areas of activity — improving dementia care, consumer awareness, enhanced enforcement and informed consent — to reduce the overall use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes. The attached report, “Working Together: California Partnership to Improve Dementia Care and Reduce Unnecessary Antipsychotic Medication Drug Use in Nursing Homes,” offers a comprehensive overview of the campaign.