Oklahoma Nursing Home Residents to be Better Protected

Oklahoma Nursing Home Residents to be Better Protected

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Those concerned about the state of care in Oklahoma nursing homes will be relieved to hear that the Oklahoma State Department of Health is searching for new hires to inspect health care facilities.

16 nurses will be hired to inspect the state’s hospitals, surgical centers, nursing homes, home health agencies.  These medical providers will undergo frequent inspections in order to receive Medicare and Medicaid payments.

The action was taken to increase the quality of care in Oklahoma as nursing homes will be better incentivized to provide good care.  If an inspector finds a problem in a home there can be real repercussions for the home and its members including federal penalties, if the problem is not corrected within 90 days.

Advocates say that the department was overstretched, and this led to inspectors not being able to inspect new facilities or the number of facilities required.  Furthermore, high turnover necessitates the hiring of new inspectors.

At the end of 2017, the Oklahoma State Department of Health began a round of layoffs that eventually resulted in over 200 people at the Department losing their jobs.  The Department claims that this new round of hires is not connected to these previous layoffs and budget crisis, but rather due to the increased need and high turnover of inspectors.

 

So, Oklahomans in senior care should be looking forward to an increase of their quality of care. And with the previous layoffs at the Department of Health, this should come as good news for care providers looking to work in the industry.

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Leo G. Anderson

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