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Aging in Rural Oklahoma — The Impact of Depopulation on Rural Seniors

By Cale R. Maddy, Esq. Oklahoma is experiencing a quiet trend which if unchanged will have substantial economic costs and will change the rural landscape of the state.  The depopulation of Oklahoma’s rural counties is arguably accelerating, and the impact of the population shift is affecting Oklahoma seniors in terms of access to medical care, transportation and nutrition. This Senior Legal...

Flu Continues Sweep of State

Between January 31st and February 6th, more than 350 patients were hospitalized in Oklahoma with positive flu testing.  In total, Oklahoma hospitals have experienced at least 3,000 confirmed cases of the flu since September 1, 2017. In the same time periods, four flu-related deaths occurred, bringing the total since September 1, 2017 to 129. Of the 3,000 confirmed flu hospitalizations, 2,209...

Free Tax Counseling for the Elderly Begins Statewide

A number of programs organized to provide free taxpayer assistance to the elderly began opening their doors in late January. Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) is an IRS-sponsored program which provides free tax help to persons with low- to middle-income with special attention to persons 60 and older. Seniors seeking assistance should attend with their spouses and also bring to...

Zytiga Patent Struck, Door Opened for Generic Prostate Cancer Drugs

The United State Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday, January 17, 2018, invalidated the patent held by Johnson & Johnson (via Janssen Oncology, Inc.) in connection with prostate cancer treatment drug abiraterone acetate (marketed under the tradename “Zytiga”). The patentability of Zytiga was initially challenged by Amerigen Pharmaceuticals Limited in Case No. (affiliated with Argentum Pharmaceuticals, LLC) in an Inter...

54 Okla. Counties with High Opioid Rx Rates Among Medicare Beneficiaries

Oklahoma’s population of Medicare Part C and Part D beneficiaries had the fourth highest opioid prescription rate among states in 2015.  Of Oklahoma’s 77 counties, 54 counties had an opioid prescription rate higher than the national average among Part D and Part C beneficiaries in 2015. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Nov. 30, 2017, unveiled an...

OHCA Releases Numbers on Children Enrolled in SoonerCare

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) released a number of reports on December 14th summarizing, among other things, the number of Oklahomans enrolled in SoonerCare.  Among the reports released by the OHCA was a summary of children age 18 and under covered by SoonerCare and the numbers per county as of November 2017.  The report also disclosed the number...

Malpractice Claims Related to Electronic Health Records on the Rise

A study recently released by medical malpractice insurance company, The Doctors Company, reveals an increase in malpractice claims related to electronic health records (EHR). The study revealed the existence of two EHR claims from 2007 to 2010.  However, beginning in 2011, the number increased to 19, with an increase to 22 cases in 2012 and 28 in 2013.  In the...

Medicare Quality Measure Ratings for Oklahoma Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released data in October rating nursing homes and other long-term care facilities and skilled nursing facilities. The 5-star rating is is awarded to the top 10% of facilities in each state.  To view the list of facilities by their overall star rating, please see the associated article -- Medicare Overall (5-Star) Rating...

Medicare Staff Ratings for Oklahoma Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released data in October rating nursing homes and other long-term care facilities and skilled nursing facilities. The 5-star rating is is awarded to the top 10% of facilities in each state.  To view the list of facilities by their overall star rating, please see the associated article -- Medicare Overall (5-Star) Rating...

Medicare Health Inspection Ratings for Oklahoma Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released data in October rating nursing homes and other long-term care facilities and skilled nursing facilities. The 5-star rating is is awarded to the top 10% of facilities in each state.  To view the list of facilities by their overall rating, please see the associated article -- Medicare Overall (5-Star) Rating for...