ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON HEALTH
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
Each day in New York State, nearly one in five nursing home residents is medicated with powerful and dangerous antipsychotic drugs as a form of chemical restraint, according to data from the federal Nursing Home Compare website.
A recent report by the Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC), an advocacy group for the elderly and disabled, shows alarming above-average antipsychotic drug usage rates in some regions of the state and in many nursing homes. Some nursing homes were found to medicate 50% or more of their residents -- after adjusting the data to exclude residents with diagnoses for which the drug would be medically appropriate.
The purpose of this hearing is to give representatives of residents, families, advocates and providers the opportunity to voice their observations and recommendations in relation to the appropriate and inappropriate use of these drugs. (It is expected that some testimony may reach into other areas of nursing home care that influence prescribing patterns, such as staffing, activities, visitation and meal preparation. However, for the purpose of this hearing, witnesses are asked to confine their observations to those that are germane to the issue of antipsychotic medication.)
Testimony at this hearing is by invitation only. Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committee at the above hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible, but no later than close of business Wednesday, February 11th. It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.
Oral testimony will be limited to 10 minutes. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible.
Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements.
In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.
Richard N. Gottfried
Member of Assembly
Committee on Health