NEW STORY: At least 1 in 5 nursing home residents is on an antipsychotic drug, more than the federal government has publicly reported, according to a new investigation by @gebeloffnyt, @jbsgreenberg and me.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/11/health/nursing-homes-schizophrenia-antipsychotics.html

Antipsychotics have been used for decades to sedate older dementia patients, even though the drugs nearly double the risk of death in this group. In 2012, the government began requiring nursing homes to report how many residents were on them. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/11/health/nursing-homes-schizophrenia-antipsychotics.html

Under the new rules, nursing homes didn't have to report antipsychotic prescriptions if the resident had schizophrenia or two other uncommon conditions. Since 2012, our reporting showed, diagnoses of schizophrenia in nursing homes soared by 70 percent.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/11/health/nursing-homes-schizophrenia-antipsychotics.html

In 2016, David Blakeney's doctor ordered his nursing home to add a schizophrenia diagnosis in order to keep giving him Haldol. With the change, he wouldn't be counted in the home's public rate. But his wife of 40 years said he never had schizophrenia. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/11/health/nursing-homes-schizophrenia-antipsychotics.html

With antipsychotics under scrutiny, prescriptions shifted to other drugs. Use of Depakote and other anti-seizure drugs has gone up recently, even though there isn't evidence that they help dementia patients. Nursing homes don't have to report their use.
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/11/health/nursing-homes-schizophrenia-antipsychotics.html

Masterfully edited by @virginiahughes and @davidenrich and graphics by @13pt!