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Wynnewood Care Center Announces Closure Amid State Budget Crisis Featured

Written by  Thursday, 09 November 2017 09:43
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Press release

 

WYNNEWOOD – Oklahoma’s Wynnewood Care Center, a skilled nursing facility that is home to 25 elderly residents, has closed its doors amid ongoing state and federal budget cuts. The home’s operator said that costs for medical care and treatment continue to rise while funding for the state’s Medicaid program continues to fall, making the facility’s finances untenable.

 

BK Strategies, a health care company headquartered in Ada, oversees operations of the Wynnewood home and several other skilled nursing facilities in Oklahoma. CEO Bart Reed said his staff worked to minimize the hardship to both his residents and employees.

 

“We were able to find all our residents homes and our employees jobs. However, this is still a major disruption for the residents, who had to leave their homes and home town. It’s a burden on family members that visit, some of whom are elderly themselves. Our employees are also going to face additional travel costs and longer commutes.”

 

Reed said the announcement of across-the-board cuts to the state’s Medicaid agency will likely trigger more nursing home closures, leaving many facilities with very few options.

 

“As nursing homes across the state close due to funding shortages, families are being forced to move their loved ones to other counties, to hospitals, or to find a way to care for them in their homes,” said Reed. “Most of our residents are sick and require around-the-clock care. We are talking about taking away their homes and uprooting their lives when they are in an extremely vulnerable state. That is no way to treat people.”

Reed said a home closure can also be a major economic blow to a community.

 

“It’s really sad what this causes in a lot of small towns,” he said. “A home closure means putting one of the largest local employers out-of-business.”

 

Skilled nursing facilities employ around 19,000 caretakers in Oklahoma. Approximately 70 to 75 percent of all residents at skilled nursing facilities rely on Medicaid as their form of payment. Oklahoma’s Medicaid reimbursement rate, at just 53 percent of the federal Medicare rate, is one of the lowest in the nation. The average facility loses $300,000 per year on Medicaid recipients. Since 2010, state and federal budget cuts to Oklahoma nursing homes have totaled $93 million, putting many homes at risk of closure.

 

Gay Lynne Vincent, a Wynnewood Care Center resident since 2015, has now moved to Purcell Care Center. She says the state is failing in its duty to care for elderly residents.

 

“You never think that at my age you are going to have to deal with a problem like this,” she said. “I worked and paid taxes all my life, and like everyone else here I expected the state to do its part. I don’t think our lawmakers realize that people like me literally just had to find a new home.”

 

Additional state cuts to Oklahoma nursing homes are expected to go into effect on December 1, 2017. Oklahoma Association of Health Care Providers President and CEO Nico Gomez has said the cuts could jeopardize the financial stability of over half of those homes.

 

“We appreciate the legislators who are taking this crisis seriously and have voted for revenue raising measures that can stabilize our nursing homes,” said Gomez. “We need action now. Budget cuts and the ongoing budget crisis have created a terrible situation for some of Oklahoma’s most vulnerable and elderly residents.”

 

vincent

Gay Lynne Vincent moved to the Purcell Care Center after the Wynnewood Care Center informed residents it was closing.

 

About OAHCP
The Oklahoma Association of Health Care Providers represents the interest of more than 18,000 residents and 19,000 professionals that work in Oklahoma’s long-term care facilities. The mission of OAHCP is to assist its members in providing the highest quality care to the seniors, individuals with disabilities and vulnerable Oklahomans who live in our facilities. We advocate for the enhancement of that care so that Oklahoma long-term care residents may live in the comfort and dignity they deserve. For more information please visit www.oahcp.org

 

David Deaton

Digital Editor at Oklahoma Welcome

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