GAO questions Oklahoma nursing home data

Wednesday, November 8th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Tulsa-AP) -- The Oklahoma Health Department and the U-S General Accounting Office are taking different views of a study of the state's nursing homes.

The way the Health Department looks at the statistics, the state's nursing homes were among the safest in the nation.

The G-A-O study says remarkably few Oklahoma nursing homes were cited for the highest level of safety violations over the past four years.

The G-A-O and the agency that administers Medicaid and Medicare funding say that should have alerted authorities to inspection and licensing irregularities. The government officials say those irregularities led to the arrest of former Deputy state Health Commissioner Brent VanMeter.

VanMeter and nursing home owner Jim Smart were later convicted of on a federal bribery charge.