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SoonerCare Department Tackles Complex Health Issues

a stack of dollar bills with a stethoscope and bottle of pills
James Martin

Overall enrollment in SoonerCare programs increased in October, Population Care ManagementDirector Marlene Asmussen said Thursday during a meeting of theOklahoma Health Care Authority board. 

The net enrollee count change from the previous month was 842. There are 16,219 new enrollees - members that have not been enrolled in the past six months.

Asmussen also gave a presentation to the board on the function of SoonerCare's Population Care Management (PCM) department. There are three work units within the department, including the Case Management Unit, the Health Management Program and the Chronic Care Unit. The Behavioral Health Unit also works closely with PCM staff.

Through PCM, patients and providers are given more ways to address complex issues affecting life quality. The Case Management Unit, she said, offers care management services to issues like victims of tornadoes or natural, catastrophic disasters or nursing for some in-need children.

Some of the Case Management Unit's initiatives include the Infant Mortality Reduction Program, which offers case management to women in 10 counties with the highest infant mortality rates and an At-Risk Obstetrical Program, which gives support to women determined by screening to be at-risk.

PCM's Health Management Program, Asmussen said, is a result of 2006's House Bill 2842, stating the Health Care Authority should develop a program for disease management to improve the quality of care and reduce the cost of care. The program is available for members with, or at, risk for developing chronic conditions. They have specifically targeted hemophilia, sickle cell anemia and hepatitis C. 

Anyone enrolled in any of the SoonerCare programs or any constituent of the state of Oklahoma is eligible for care coordination assistance for physical or behavioral health services.


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