'Quality of Care Fee' for nursing facilities is ludicrous

BY YOUR NAME Staff Writer email@opubco.com Published: July 7, 2012

I've just become aware of a fee assessed by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. This fee is known as a “Quality of Care Fee” and is charged to licensed nursing facilities in the state. This fee was established by the Legislature and the purpose, in brief, is to enhance payment for SoonerCare clients, to pay for added nursing facility inspectors, added nursing home ombudsmen, transportation for SoonerCare clients and medical equipment and pharmacy costs for qualified Medicare beneficiaries. All facilities pay the same rate of $9.79 per day, as prescribed in the legislation. A facility isn't required to pass on this cost but it's understandable that it would do so.

My brother is a private-pay resident in an Oklahoma City nursing home. The cost was $134 per day before the additional charge of $9.79 was added. For a family struggling to cover the cost of care for its loved one, the “Quality of Care Fee” is ludicrous.

Perhaps you don't care if you aren't affected now, but how do you know you won't need the service of a nursing home in the future? I contacted my state representative; my concerns were ignored. If you agree with me that this is unfair, contact your state representative now rather than waiting until you're personally affected. Perhaps if enough concerned citizens speak up, the Legislature will reconsider its actions.

Kathryn Olds, Edmond


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