The Effects of Antipsychotic Quality Reporting on Antipsychotic and Psychoactive Medication Use

Health Serv Res. 2015 Aug;50(4):1069-87. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.12281. Epub 2015 Jan 20.


Objective: The objective of this study is to examine how nursing homes changed their use of antipsychotic and other psychoactive medications in response to Nursing Home Compare's initiation of publicly reporting antipsychotic use in July 2012.

Research design and subjects: The study includes all state recertification surveys (n = 40,415) for facilities six quarters prior and post the initiation of public reporting. Using a difference-in-difference framework, the change in use of antipsychotics and other psychoactive medications is compared for facilities subject to public reporting and facilities not subject to reporting.

Principal findings: The percentage of residents using antipsychotics, hypnotics, or any psychoactive medication is found to decline after public reporting. Facilities subject to reporting experienced an additional decline in antipsychotic use (-1.94 vs. -1.40 percentage points) but did not decline as much for hypnotics (-0.60 vs. -1.21 percentage points). Any psychoactive use did not vary with reporting status, and the use of antidepressants and anxiolytics did not change.

Conclusion: Public reporting of an antipsychotic quality measure can be an effective policy tool for reducing the use of antipsychotic medications--though the effect many only exist in the short run.

Keywords: Nursing home compare; antipsychotics; psychoactive medications; public reporting; quality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Drug Utilization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Homes for the Aged / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / administration & dosage
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use*
  • Nursing Homes / statistics & numerical data*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Psychotropic Drugs / administration & dosage
  • Psychotropic Drugs / therapeutic use*
  • Quality of Health Care


  • Antipsychotic Agents
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Psychotropic Drugs