Oklahoma News
4:51 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Counselor Sentenced In Medicaid Fraud Case

Credit creationc / Stock.XCHNG

The operator of an Oklahoma mental health care facility has been sentenced to five years in prison for allegedly billing fraudulent claims to the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's office announced the sentence Wednesday for John Michael Doneti, a licensed professional counselor who ran Central Oklahoma Behavioral Health Services, LLC. Doneti was also sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay $194,000 in restitution.

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8:33 am
Sun February 15, 2015

State, Tribal Leaders Seek Insure Oklahoma Expansion


State and tribal leaders in Oklahoma are exploring opportunities for a federal waiver that could mean health insurance for more than 40,000 low-income uninsured tribal members in the state.

While state leaders oppose a Medicaid expansion offered under the federal health care law, this latest idea to expand Insure Oklahoma would involve no state funds.

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6:27 am
Sun February 8, 2015

No Political Will For Medicaid Expansion In Oklahoma

Credit James Martin/Flickr

While some Republican-led states are exploring whether to expand Medicaid to include more low-income residents, Oklahoma's GOP leaders remain steadfastly opposed to the idea.

The head of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority says there is no effort underway to seek a Medicaid expansion or even develop an Oklahoma-specific plan for seeking available funding.

Indiana recently received approval to expand Medicaid through a state-run program, making it the 128th state to do so and the 10th with a Republican in the governor's mansion.

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Oklahoma Watch
7:36 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Affordable Care Act Enrollment Begins Saturday

Oklahoma Watch

Starting this weekend, an estimated 446,000 low-to-middle-income Oklahomans can sign up for government-subsidized health insurance for 2015 through the online marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act.

The 2015 open enrollment period begins Saturday, Nov. 15, and ends Sunday, Feb. 15. Federal officials and ACA advocates are encouraging people to complete their applications by Dec. 15 to avoid ensure their coverage begins on Jan. 1.

A recent national survey by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, D.C., showed that 89 percent of uninsured people were not aware that open enrollment begins this month.

“It’s an unfortunate continuation of a trend that’s been going on for quite a while now,” Kaiser Foundation Senior Fellow Karen Politz said in a briefing with reporters. “People really aren’t that familiar with what’s in the ACA, whether it will help them, and what the rules are.”

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Oklahoma News
7:29 am
Sat November 1, 2014

Oklahoma Dental Clinics Reach Medicaid Fraud Settlement

Credit Finzio / Flickr Creative Commons

The operator of some Oklahoma dental clinics has agreed to pay more than $5 million to settle allegations that it submitted false Medicaid claims.

Federal and state prosecutors said Friday they had alleged that Ocean Dental, which operates clinics throughout the state, submitted false Medicaid claims for work that was either never performed or billed at higher rates than allowed.

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Politics and Government
7:12 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

With 665,000 Oklahomans Uninsured, Subcommittee Discusses Healthcare Availability

Credit 401(K) 2012 / Flickr

Healthcare advocates asked lawmakers Tuesday to find solutions to reduce Oklahoma’s uninsured population -- whether it be accepting Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act or via its own state funded alternative.

The comments were made in the Appropriations and Budget Subcommittee on Public Health during a combination of interim studies related to healthcare funding, access and the uninsured.

The studies were requested by Reps. David Perryman, D-Chickasha; Emily Virgin, D-Norman; Joe Dorman, D-Rush Springs; Chuck Hoskin, D-Vinita.

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5:10 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

More Money Needed For Oklahoma Health Care Authority

Charles Ed McFall, Chairman, The Oklahoma Health Care Authority Board of Directors
Credit Oklahoma Health Care Authority

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority Board approved a request to the legislature to increase funding by $275 million for next fiscal year. Of that increase, nearly 60% would fund the agency’s priority items and maintain their existing program in fiscal year 2016.

The increase would add to the base funding of around $953 million in state funds.

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8:04 am
Sun October 5, 2014

Oklahoma Ranks Low In Quality Elderly Health Care

Oklahoma nursing homes are rated 49th and Oklahoma’s health care system for the elderly is ranked 47th in two new studies. A three-year $11.5 million dollar grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation to the Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative will help deal with some of the shortcomings. Increased state funding is still needed to improve the health of Oklahoma seniors.

Urban Institute Report
4:29 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Oklahoma Hospitals Projected To Lose Billions In Reimbursements

Credit peggydavis66 /

Some hospital officials say they're frustrated over losing out on reimbursements because Medicaid wasn't expanded in Oklahoma.

The Tulsa World reports a report by the Urban Institute finds Oklahoma hospitals are projected to lose more than $4 billion in reimbursements between 2013 and 2022. Some Tulsa hospitals say they've let go of workers to offset the lost revenue.

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6:46 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Oklahoma Is Winning Its Medicaid Standoff With The Feds — For Now

The one-year extension announced by Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday keeps Insure Oklahoma on life support through the end of 2015. In her statement, the governor talked about buying more time to negotiate a permanent place for Insure Oklahoma — but nothing about expanding coverage.
Oklahoma is one of about two dozen states that hasn't expanded Medicaid - and it's tangled in a unique standoff of sorts with the Obama administration. Oklahoma and the federal agency overseeing Medicaid are still wrestling with the fate of a decade-old state program covering almost 20,000 low-income adults.