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Memorandum

To: Nursing Facility Administrators

From: Patty Ducayet, LMSW
State Long-term Care Ombudsman

Subject: Ombudsman Program Brochure, “The Wrong Diagnosis: Did it Happen to You?”

Date: October 28, 2016

In support of state and national initiatives to reduce the improper use of antipsychotic drugs with
residents, the State Long-term Care Ombudsman Program (Ombudsman Program) created an
informational brochure, “The Wrong Diagnosis: Did it Happen to You?” The purpose of the
brochure is to educate residents, family members, and you about a concerning trend in Texas
nursing facilities. Ombudsmen will distribute this brochure to you and others in the coming weeks
and months.

In the last year, information from the Minimum Data Set shows a significant increase in the first-
time diagnosis of schizophrenia and similar psychiatric diagnoses. These diagnoses are important
because they can result in prescribed antipsychotic medications. As stated in the brochure, the
Ombudsman Program advises any person who gets a new diagnosis of schizophrenia in a nursing
home to ask questions and seek help from the Ombudsman Program to advocate for their rights and
get individualized treatment, without drugs, whenever possible. We appreciate your continued
cooperation with the Ombudsman Program and with residents and families to deliver individualized
care and respond to their questions about a new diagnosis.

The Ombudsman Program considers intentional misdiagnoses fraudulent and dangerous to
residents. If an ombudsman has reason to believe an employee or contractor of a nursing facility
has intentionally misdiagnosed a resident, with resident consent or the permission of the state
long-term care ombudsman, the ombudsman will notify you and make a report to the Department
of Aging and Disability Services Consumer Rights and Services.

If you have any questions please contact your managing local ombudsman, or me.