Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 11:18 am
The misery of low back pain often drives people to the doctor to seek relief. But doctors are doing a pretty miserable job of treating back pain, a study finds.
Physicians are increasingly prescribing expensive scans, narcotic painkillers and other treatments that don't help in most cases, and can make things a lot worse. Since 1 in 10 of all primary care visits are for low back pain, this is no small matter.
State leaders have been looking for a way to cover thousands of uninsured Oklahomans after Gov. Mary Fallin rejected a federal expansion of Medicaid. A consultant told the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to look toward Arkansas for an answer.
A consultant hired by Oklahoma to propose ideas on state health care policies is recommending the state adopt a plan similar to one in Arkansas that channels state and federal money to private insurers to cover the uninsured. The approach would mean changing and expanding the current Insure Oklahoma plan, which subsidizes premiums for more than 30,000 uninsured people but is capped.
Abortion providers in Oklahoma would be required to answer dozens of new questions on a state questionnaire under a bill given final approval in the House despite concerns the bill paves the way for costly litigation against the state.
The public will get its first glimpse of an Oklahoma plan to provide health care to uninsured residents. The Oklahoma Health Care Authority is supposed to present some of the findings from the study at its Thursday meeting. The entire report, though, is not being released.
A consultant hired by Oklahoma to help create a plan for covering people without health insurance has delivered a draft report on its findings to state officials, but officials refuse to release the report.
The number of people on the list has risen by 24 percent since 2010, when Oklahoma had the third largest waiting list for such services in the nation, according to a University of Minnesota study. Just under half the applicants are children; most are from low-income families.