Oklahoma State Regulations for Medication Reminders

  • Important News   •   2015

Recently Kathy Cocks, the supervisory nurse with Care Plus Home Care, met with Senator Standridge, the chair of Oklahoma Health and Human Services Committee to discuss how regulations in the state of Oklahoma affect the ability of disabled elderly adults to remain at home. The following is the paper that was presented to the Senator. Kathy plans on staying politically active to work on getting regulations updated to deal with the aging population. Feel free to use any of these points to contact your local representative or contact Kathy for more information at kathycareplusnurse@gmail.com:

Health care challenge:
• Oklahoma population continues to age; 14 % of the population in 2012 greater than 65, a 16 % increase from 2002
• Number of elderly individuals living with disabilities nationwide averages at 36 %

Currently, disabled elderly care is provided at:
• a facility such as nursing homes assisted living and memory units
• at home via family, licensed or unregulated caregivers, and adult daycares

The 1992 Oklahoma Home Care Act (OHCA) and regulations chapter 662 does not specify that certified medication aides (CMAs) or medication aide technicians (MAT) may administer routine medications at a private residence

• Individuals desiring to stay at home with a licensed caregiver must be able to self-administer their own medication or hire a nurse at great expense
• A licensed certified home health aide is not even allowed to place medication from a planner on a spoon or in the pudding to assist the client
• However, CMA/MAT are allowed to administer routine medication at Nursing Homes, assisted living, memory care, and adult daycare centers

The result: the disabled or elderly wanting to live at home but unable to self-medicate:
• must move to a facility or…
• hire unregulated private caregivers or…
• hire an RN or LPN at great expense

Recommendation: add addendums to OHCA allowing CMA/MAT/CHHA to administer routine medications at home under a physician’s orders and indirect supervision of a nurse. Allow CHHA to place medication on spoons or in the pudding.

This would allow individuals to remain at home and still be able to use a licensed, regulated home care agency instead of unlicensed unregulated caregivers if that is their choice. Many seniors prefer to stay at home and there is less chance for complications and the spread of infectious diseases.

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