McEntire, Thompson Applaud Nursing Home Improvements
OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Marcus McEntire, R-Duncan, and Sen. Roger Thompson, R-Okemah, today commented on new data that shows investments in Oklahoma nursing homes have delivered dramatic improvements thanks to legislation they championed in 2019.
Data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) demonstrates dramatically improved outcomes in the skilled nursing sector. The improvements follow the state of Oklahoma making significant investments in skilled nursing facilities aimed at boosting performance in key areas.
Senate Bill 280, titled the “Nursing Home Quality Assurance Initiative,” was authored in 2019 by Rep. Marcus McEntire and championed by Sen. Roger Thompson. The bill, which was passed with bipartisan support and signed into law by Gov. Stitt, tied funding increases for nursing homes to quality of care metrics in four areas:
- Percentage of long stay residents who lose too much weight
- Percentage of long stay residents with a urinary tract infection
- Percentage of long stay residents who received an antipsychotic medication; and
- Percentage of high risk long stay residents with pressure ulcers.
Data released in January 2023 shows Oklahoma dramatically improved in each of these categories, both in absolute terms and compared with other states. Data below compares outcomes reported in 2023 to a similar report released in May 2019, prior to SB 280 taking effect.
- The percentage of long stay residents who lose too much weight went from 5.87%, ranked at 31, in 2019, to 4.49%., ranked No. 1, in 2022.
- The percentage of long stay residents with a urinary tract infection went from 4.84%, ranked at 51, in 2019, to 3.53%, ranked at 47 in 2022.
- The percentage of long stay residents who received an antipsychotic medication went from 18.88%, ranked at 50, in 2019, to 14.18%, ranked at 21, in 2022.
- The percentage of high risk long stay residents with pressure ulcers went from 9.71%, ranked at 49, in 2019, to 8.98%, ranked at 35 in 2022.
McEntire said the most recent numbers are an important illustration of how good public policy crafted by lawmakers can have a tangible impact on quality of life and safety, especially for vulnerable Oklahomans.
“In 2019, Oklahoma nursing homes were ranked as a bottom three state for outcomes in three of these four categories,” McEntire said. “Now we are out of the bottom three in each performance area, and we are the nation’s leader when it comes to limiting unhealthy weight loss for nursing home residents.
“These are results to be proud of,” McEntire said. “They are directly tied to the Legislature making a significant monetary investment in an underfunded profession.”
Thompson noted that, while outcomes in Oklahoma’s skilled nursing facilities have improved dramatically, the profession now faces an unprecedented challenge from expenses related to COVID-19 and rising labor costs. According to the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), 84% of nursing homes are facing staffing shortages and more than half report they are operating at a loss, with many of those struggling facilities serving our rural communities.
“The financial situation for these facilities is grim right now,” Thompson said. “The good thing is, we have seen what a positive impact we can make in this field when we listen to skilled nursing professionals, take the time to get the policy right and make the investments needed to help these professionals succeed. The reward for that success can be measured in a much higher quality of life for Oklahoma’s vulnerable seniors.”
About the data:
- The CMS dataset released in January 2023 can be viewed here. Click “download full dataset” for ease of viewing.
- The CMS dataset released in May 2019 is archived and can be downloaded here. Open the zip file and open the spreadsheet labeled “StateUSAverages”. Consult the key below for the relevant datapoints:
- QM404 – percentage of long state residents who lose too much weight
- QM407 – percentage of long stay residents with a urinary tract infection
- QM419 – percentage of long stay residents who received an antipsychotic medication
- QM453 – percentage of high risk long stay residents with pressure ulcers