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.
In its second round of sweeping budget cuts, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority on Tuesday will consider reducing payments to doctors and other Medicaid providers by $159 million, effective immediately.
The authority will meet in special session to vote on provider reimbursement cuts affecting up to 13,932 physicians, 2,097 advanced practice nurses, 1,561 therapists, 1,285 physician assistants, 1,277 pharmacies, 1,255 personal care providers, 1,133 dentists and several thousand other providers.
The Oklahoma Health Care Authority will consider $252 million in Medicaid cutbacks at its board meeting on Thursday, including new limits on patient services, higher copays and smaller reimbursements to doctors and other medical providers.
The cutbacks, described in a draft agenda for the board’s 1 p.m. meeting (see below), were devised by leaders of the Health Care Authority and the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in response to standstill state funding and reduced federal support.
The number of Oklahomans enrolled at one time in the state’s Medicaid program reached an all-time high in March, and officials are examining whether many people who signed up were spurred to do so by the Affordable Care Act.
By the end of March, there were 830,850 Oklahomans enrolled in SoonerCare, the state’s Medicaid program; that was the highest single-month total of enrollees since the program began, according to data from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.
A plan to test privatizing the management of health care services provided to the poor in Oklahoma has narrowly passed the state Senate over the objections of opponents concerned that it will lead to lower reimbursement rates for doctors and hospitals.
The Senate voted 25-21 on Thursday for the Oklahoma Medicaid Reform Act of 2014 by Republican Sen. Kim David of Porter. The bill now heads to the House, where it is expected to undergo changes.
President Obama on Tuesday appointed one of his top management gurus, Jeffrey Zeints, to head the team working to fix what ails HealthCare.gov, the troubled website that's supposed to allow residents of 36 states to enroll in coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Apprehension and optimism abound in Oklahoma as the Affordable Care Act shifts into higher gear with the opening of the federally-run health-care marketplace on Oct. 1.
At the same time, residents and business owners are awaiting the unveiling of an “Oklahoma Plan” to expand health coverage and improve health outcomes that Gov. Mary Fallin promised in her State of the State speech earlier this year.
These and other topics were discussed Tuesday evening during Oklahoma Watch’s first “Oklahoma Watch-Out” community forum at Kamps 1910 Café in Oklahoma City.
Governor Mary Fallin says she's discussing a possible special session to resurrect a lawsuit reform bill that was struck down by the Oklahoma Supreme Court and the leader of the Senate says he supports the plan.
Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman said Wednesday he supports the idea of a one-week special session "the sooner the better." House Speaker T.W. Shannon said through a spokesman that he would defer to the governor.