Nursing Home Reform

Oklahoma City, OK – Lawmakers call for nursing home reform

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A bipartisan group of state lawmakers wants to suspend an incentive program they say is giving bonuses to poorly performing nursing homes.

Rep. Richard Morrissette of Oklahoma City says a new Government Accountability Office report lists Oklahoma with the second worst average of poorly performing nursing homes in the nation.

Morrissette says 36 of Oklahoma's 318 nursing homes, or 11.3 percent, are poorly performing.

The state paid out almost $19 million in bonuses under the Focus on Excellence nursing home incentive program between January 2008 and this past June, including some cited for federal deficiencies.

Rep. Lisa Billy of Lindsay says she would like to divert money for nursing home bonuses to a senior nutrition program that has incurred more than $7 million in budget cuts.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.