Oklahoma City Personal Injury Lawyers

Oklahoma Nursing Home Loses Medicare/Medicaid Certification

Owner Says Facility May Be Forced To Close

Callaway Nursing Home, Sulphur, Okla.Callaway Nursing Home in Sulphur may be forced to shut down because the federal government has terminated its certification to receive Medicare and Medicaid funding. The government says the home has numerous deficiencies that have the potential to put the home’s residents in “imminent harm.”

The nursing home, about 85 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, is a for-profit nursing home with 86 beds. Seventy-five beds were occupied at the time of the facility’s last inspection.

The nursing facility has brought a lawsuit against the federal government to protest the termination of its certification. According to that lawsuit, 55 of the home’s residents depend on Medicare or Medicaid to pay their bills, and the home will be forced to close without certification to be a Medicare/Medicaid provider.

Callaway Nursing Home’s Low Rating

According to Nursing Home Compare, a rating website operated by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Callaway Nursing Home is ranked in the bottom 20% of Oklahoma’s 300+ nursing homes. The rating lists 308 nursing homes, which are rated on a 1-to 5-star scale. Callaway, along with 75 other Oklahoma facilities, has an overall 1-star rating.

Nursing Home Compare provides “quality-of-care information” on every Medicare/Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country. That’s more than 15,000 facilities, 92% of which receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.

The Nursing Home Compare rating includes three scores plus an overall score. The three component scores are for:

  • Health inspections, which are conducted by state and federal inspectors.
  • Staffing — how many nurses and nursing assistants are on staff?
  • Quality measures — how do residents rate the facility?

Callaway Nursing Home received 1 star on its health inspections rating. The home has 29 health deficiencies, compared to the national average of 6.8 and the Oklahoma average of 11.4. The home also received 1 star on staffing and 2 stars on quality measures.

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The Home Fights Back in Court

Callaway challenged the termination in a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. District Judge Ronald A. White of the Eastern District of Oklahoma dismissed that suit earlier this week. The nursing home has appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals and has filed for an injunction to block the termination until the appeal is resolved.

I wonder whether the nursing home is spending more money defending itself in court than it would have cost the home if it had just complied with federal standards by improving the quality of its services!

The Sulphur facility still has a valid license to operate in Oklahoma as a nursing facility. However, since the vast majority of the home’s residents depend on Medicare and Medicaid, most of the home’s income comes from that source. The majority of nursing homes would be hard-pressed to survive financially without certification to receive Medicare/Medicaid dollars.

If the nursing home’s appeal fails — which it almost certainly will — the home does have one more option to stay in business. It is the obvious one: Correct the deficiencies and make things better. After the home makes improvements, it can reapply to become an approved Medicare/Medicaid provider. However, it can take up to six months or longer to be approved. The facility may be out of business by then.

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Free Consultation

If you are a resident of a sub-standard nursing home facility in Oklahoma, or you have a loved one who is a resident, you have legal rights. The old adage, “You get what you pay for,” applies to nursing homes. However, even low-end facilities have a legal obligation to provide a minimum standard of care, including adequate medical oversight and protection from abuse and neglect.

If you have a claim against an Oklahoma nursing home, contact the nursing home abuse lawyers of Hasbrook & Hasbrook for a free consultation. We will evaluate your case, and if we decide to represent you, we will do so on contingency, which means you pay us only if your case is successful in court.

Contact Hasbrook & Hasbrook by telephone (866-416-4737), email (cth@hasbrooklaw.com) or use our website contact form: Contact Us.