Nursing Homes in Oklahoma Aren't As Bad As You May Think
Looking for a Nursing Home? Two Online Directories Are Helpful
Although we occasionally hear news reports about problems or lawsuits at poor nursing home facilities, many of Oklahoma’s nursing homes get high marks. Two ratings systems, one at the state level and one at the federal level, both list a significant number of high quality facilities in the Sooner State.
Of the 285 nursing homes listed on the Oklahoma Nursing Home Ratings directory, 51 of them receive overall 5-star ratings, and another 82 have overall 4-star ratings. That’s 47% of the state’s nursing homes with a 4- or 5-star rating.
The federal Nursing Home Compare site is a bit stricter. Of the 313 Oklahoma nursing homes listed, 29 have an overall 5-star rating and another 80 have a 4-star rating. That’s 35% that have a 4- or 5-star rating.
Looking for a nursing home for yourself or a loved one? Heard some horror stories, and don’t know how to be sure the facility you are considering is a good one? These online federal and state ratings services provide a lot detailed information about specific nursing homes.
Nursing Home Compare
The federal Nursing Home Compare is a great resource operated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Nursing Home Compare contains “quality-of-care information” on every Medicare or Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country. That’s more than 15,000 facilities nationwide. (According to this DHHS site, more than 95% of nursing homes are Medicare/Medicaid certified.)
You can search Nursing Home Compare by the name of the facility, location, kind of facility, or by star rating. Nursing Home Compare offers a wealth of information about each nursing home, including:
• Quality measures: How the residents themselves assess the facility.
• Staffing: How many nurses and nursing assistants are on staff.
• Health inspections: Complete copies of the actual reports from inspections conducted at the home during the previous three years.
• Any penalties the facility has received.
All of this information is summarized with Five-Star Quality Ratings for each of the individual categories, plus an overall Five-Star Rating, which is an average of the individual scores.
Nursing Home Ratings
The Nursing Home Ratings directory, sponsored by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, is dedicated strictly to Oklahoma sites. It is part of the OHCA’s Focus on Excellence Ratings System, begun in 2007 to promote nursing home excellence in the state.Currently 285 long-term care facilities in the state participate, and the facilities earn “incentive reimbursements” for achieving good scores. The rating system measures nursing homes on nine criteria:
- Person-centered care
- Direct-care staffing
- Resident/family satisfaction
- Employee satisfaction
- Licensed nurse retention
- CNA retention
- Distance learning
- Peer mentoring
- Leadership commitment
When you are looking for a nursing home, I recommend that you consult both directories. For example, I searched a northwest Oklahoma City zip code on the federal Nursing Home Compare, and first on the list was Epworth Villa Health Services. However, when I searched the state Nursing Home Ratings site, Epworth Villa was not even listed. Why not? The federal site lists every participant of either Medicare or Medicaid, while the Oklahoma site lists only Medicaid participants.
Most facilities are on both lists, but to obtain all of the available information about a particular nursing home, I suggest checking them both.