Two Oklahoma Nursing Homes Make Federal Government List

Thursday, November 29th 2007, 7:55 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) - Fifty-six nursing homes, including two in Oklahoma, are being told by the federal government that they're among the worst in their states in an effort to goad them into improving patient care. The two nursing Oklahoma homes are located in Pawhuska and Oklahoma City. Both are on a list provided by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Lawmakers and advocacy groups have been pushing the Bush administration to make it easier for consumers to identify poorly performing nursing homes. They complain that too many facilities get cited for serious deficiencies but don't make adequate improvement, or do so only temporarily.

``Very, very poor quality nursing homes do not deserve to be left untouched or unnoticed,'' said Senator Herb Kohl, D-Wis., chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging. ``This is not to be punitive. That's not our goal. Our goal is to see to it that the people in these nursing homes get better quality care or that they get the opportunity to move somewhere else.''

The homes in question are among more than 120 designated as a ``special focus facility.'' CMS began using the designation about a decade ago to identify homes that merit more oversight. For these homes, states conduct inspections at six month intervals rather than annually.

The homes on the list got not only the special focus designation, but also registered a lack of improvement in a subsequent survey.

The nursing homes to be cited come from 33 states and the District of Columbia, according to a list obtained by The Associated Press. There are about 16,400 nursing homes nationwide.

About 1.5 million elderly and disabled people live in nursing homes. Taxpayers spend about $72.5 billion a year to subsidize the cost of nursing home care.