Providers uncomfortable with insurance bill

Share this content:

Nursing home providers and legislators in Oklahoma have different opinions about new legislation requiring nursing homes to carry at least $250,000 in liability insurance. 

Lawmakers and consumer advocates have said the mandatory insurance is simply the "cost of doing business," but providers have a different take on the situation. They say that insufficient reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid put nursing homes in the awkward position of having to choose between liability insurance and quality care. 

Medicare and Medicaid funds cover roughly 70% of nursing home residents in Oklahoma, according to the Oklahoma Association of Healthcare Providers. The Oklahoma Center for Consumer and Patient Safety say that 56 nursing homes, comprising nearly 20% of the state's beds, do not have liability insurance. The law is awaiting approval from the house. The state's senate passed the bill unanimously.