State nursing home board appointees meet for first time

Wednesday, August 17th 2005, 6:16 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A revamped nursing home administrators board begins tackling a backlog of 89 complaints against nursing home operators in the state.

The Oklahoma State Board of Examiners for Nursing Home Administrators met Tuesday for the first time since the Legislature ousted 13 of its previous members. Those members were faulted for not taking enough action against leaders of long-term care centers who had complaints against them.

Assistant Attorney General Annette Prince says members who fail to report patient abuse should face stiff fines. Prince says the board can discipline administrators, but board policy doesn't stipulate fines.

The majority of board members at one time had nursing home ties, but only five of the 15 board members are nursing home administrators now.

Prince says the board has a poor image among state lawmakers and the news media and must show the Legislature it's committed to change.