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Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Chrissie Cole
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Nursing Homes Partially-Owned by State Legislator Cited

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Recent problems found at nursing homes partially owned by Rep. Doug Cox are bothersome and part of a bigger problem concerning nursing home legislation, said the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Center for Consumer and Patient Safety.

While it wasn’t the worst of cases, the fact that they have significant deficiencies gives rise for the potential for nursing home abuse and/or negligence.

The director has been critical of this legislative session for stripping Senate Bill 1459 of a requirement that all state nursing homes carry $250,000 of liability insurance.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health found problems at nursing homes in Fairland and Kingston that ranged from failing to have a registered nurse on staff and giving residents the wrong medication to lesser lapses such as employees without name tags, the homes’ inspection records show.

The homes were cited for 14 and 12 deficiencies, respectively, which is more than the statewide average of eight yearly deficiencies, according to Health Department records. The problems have since been fixed.

Health Department officials as well as a doctor, whom oversees medical operations at the homes, said similar problems have been surfacing at other state nursing homes.

The problems discovered at Cox’s homes weren’t immediately threatening to the residents, said chief of long-term care for the state Health Department.