KGOU

Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

State Mental Health And Substance Abuse Agency May Cut All Outpatient Service

Oct 18, 2017
Commissioner Terri White of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services speaks at a news conference in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

As the state legislature continue to look for solutions to fill a $215 million budget gap, one state agency outlined how it will deal with the loss of nearly one quarter of its budget.

They Thought They Were Going To Rehab. They Ended Up In Chicken Plants

Oct 4, 2017
Men sent to Christian Alcoholics & Addicts in Recovery, better known as CAAIR, work full time at chicken processing plants. The hours are long, the conditions are brutal and the program keeps all the wages.
Gabriel Hongsdusit / Reveal

Here’s how the poultry industry turned drug defendants into indentured servants – and convinced the courts to go along with it.

Gov. Mary Fallin delivers her 2016 State of the State address Feb. 1, 2016.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Governor Mary Fallin says state legislators must return to the Capitol for a special legislative session. In a statement released Wednesday, Fallin said the session is the only way to fill a budget hole created when the Oklahoma Supreme Court struck down a smoking cessation fee last week.

MilitaryHealth / Flickr Creative Commons

 

The Oklahoma Supreme Court hears arguments August 8 in the case over the state’s new $1.50-per-pack cigarette fee.

Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services commissioner Terri White discusses mid-year fiscal cuts on March 25, 2016.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is the latest state agency to unveil details about how Oklahoma’s revenue failures will affect its bottom line.

The department announced during its March board meeting Friday morning it will trim an additional $13 million for the current fiscal year that ends June 30. That brings the total amount of cuts since January to $22.8 million, and ODMHSAS says more than 73,000 Oklahomans will notice the effects.

So what does that mean? Three things:

Nearly a million Oklahomans suffer from mental illness or substance abuse so mental health facilities are using a triage approach to provide treatment.

A priority system that mandates the most severely ill get treatment while others wait.

Mental health providers say shrinking financial resources have forced such an approach to mental health care.

Toni Pratt-Reid, the owner of three medical clinics, said she could be forced to close two of those clinics if the Oklahoma Health Care Authority reduces the rates it pays nurse practitioners.
M. Scott Carter / Oklahoma Watch

A top Oklahoma health official is warning that the budget crunch may force the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to cut payments to mid-level medical providers such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, which providers say could lead to the closing of rural clinics.

Facing a $611 million budget gap, state leaders say most agencies will see spending cuts, or at best, a flat budget. But even with a flat budget, Health Care Authority officials said, many low-income residents could see a reduction in health care access and services.

Budget documents released by the Authority indicate the agency is proposing more than $40 million in budget reductions for the 2016 fiscal year. Those cuts range from $2.9 million in administrative cuts to a $5.2 million, or 15 percent, reduction in reimbursement amounts paid to nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physical therapists and other mid-level providers.

Doctors could see reimbursement rate cuts of about 2 percent, lawmakers said.

The reductions would lower fee-for-service payments to 85 percent of the Authority’s physician fee schedule.

About 3,250 providers would be affected.

Lack of funding and access to services and lack of political will have prevented many Oklahomans with mental illness and addiction problems from getting the help they need, leaders in the field told an Oklahoma City audience Tuesday night.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A new federal report says that Oklahoma is ranked 11th in the nation in alcohol poisoning deaths from 2010 through 2012.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released its latest analysis Tuesday. Its report shows that Oklahoma saw an average of 37 residents die from alcohol poisoning per year.