Committee approves healthcare initiative rules

Friday, July 14th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- The medical advisory committee to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority has approved rules governing implementation of the 2001 Healthcare Initiative. The initiative, created by a recently passed omnibus health care measure, requires nursing homes to report staffing levels to the Health Care Authority, which will conduct audits.

The committee's recommendations, approved Thursday, will be forwarded to the full authority for consideration at its Aug. 3 meeting. If the OHCA approves the rules, they will be submitted to Gov. Frank Keating.

Facilities that fail to meet reporting deadlines for staffing levels could face a penalty of $150 a day under rules passed by the committee. The first monthly reporting period would begin Sept. 1, and facilities would be required to fill out a daily staff log to be turned in the following month, said Nico Gomez, Oklahoma Health Care Authority spokesman.

In addition, the committee passed recommendations for an administrative fine of $25 for each hour a nursing home employee is not paid $6.65 an hour mandated by the Healthcare Initiative.

The penalties would apply to private-pay and Medicaid nursing facilities, Gomez said. They do not apply to hospitals. The initiative is largely known for the $4 per resident quality-of-care daily assessment fees each home will have to pay. The $4 will generate about $37 million, which will be leveraged with Medicaid dollars to create $129 million for the program, Gomez said.