nursing homes

Have you or a loved one been refused reentry to a nursing home or long-term care residence after being hospitalized during the COVID-19 pandemic? Fill out this form to tell us your experiences, and an NPR producer or reporter may call you for an interview to air on the radio.

The state of Oklahoma is expected to declare a revenue failure for the remainder of this fiscal year. The Board of Equalization is meeting soon to make the declaration, allowing lawmakers to tap into the Rainy Day Fund which has about $806 million in it.

State officials blame falling oil prices, delaying tax payments until July and closed businesses from the coronavirus pandemic which cuts into sales taxes and raises unemployment.

Senate Appropriations Chair Roger Thompson says he doesn’t expect agency cuts or furloughs as a result of the revenue failure declaration.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health is authorizing the following facilities to restrict visitation as they deem necessary to protect against the spread of COVID-19. 

  • Nursing facilities
  • Assisted living centers
  • Residential care facilities
  • Adult day care centers
  • Intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities
  • Hospitals
  • Other medical facilities or congregate living settings which house or serve vulnerable populations
  • City and county detention facilities.

On a spring morning, Jamie Fields and her mom Joyce Collins are standing outside a grocery store in New Rochelle, N.Y., arguing over how to stay safe.

"She's very nervous," Collins says. She's only 57, but was recently diagnosed with lung cancer, which means she's vulnerable to COVID-19. "I just got out of the hospital."

They live together just up the street in the center of the New Rochelle containment area. They say they're trying to keep their sense of humor about a global pandemic that's landed on their doorstep.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is ordering health inspectors to focus on infection-control practices at nursing homes and hospitals, particularly those where coronavirus infections have been identified among patients or in the community, CMS administrator Seema Verma announced Wednesday.

It can be hard to quantify the problem of elder abuse. Experts believe that many cases go unreported. And Wednesday morning, their belief was confirmed by two new government studies.

The research, conducted and published by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, finds that in many cases of abuse or neglect severe enough to require medical attention, the incidents have not been reported to enforcement agencies, though that's required by law.

Flickr / Marco Verch

A new law cracks down on giving antipsychotic drugs to patients in nursing homes in Oklahoma.

Senate Bill 142, signed by Governor Kevin Stitt last week, requires informed consent for nursing home patients and their families regarding the use of powerful antipsychotic drugs.

The bill’s author, Senator Stephanie Bice, says Oklahoma ranks as the worst state in the nation when it comes to the use of antipsychotics on nursing home patients with no psychiatric diagnosis.

The Trump administration's decision to alter the way it punishes nursing homes has resulted in lower fines against many facilities found to have endangered or injured residents.

Federal records show that the average fine dropped to $28,405 under the current administration, down from $41,260 in 2016, President Obama's final year in office.


The federal government took a new step this week to reduce avoidable hospital readmissions of nursing home patients. The move targets the homes' bottom lines by lowering a year's worth of payments to nearly 11,000 nursing homes, and giving bonuses to nearly 4,000 others.

These financial incentives, determined by each home's readmission rates, significantly expand Medicare's effort to pay medical providers based on the quality of care instead of just the number or condition of their patients.

Kateleigh Mills / KOSU

Nurses and aides sit on couches and armchairs usually reserved for movie night. The workers recoil as pictures of severe plaque, tooth decay and bleeding sores are projected on the wall of the nursing center in Meeker.

Dental hygienist Shelley Mitchell says this is what happens when nursing home residents don’t get their teeth brushed.

“A lot of the residents I saw this morning, I saw a lot of plaque, I saw a lot of plaque, and I saw a lot of missing teeth,” she said.