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Health Care Authority To Recommend 7.75% Provider Rate Cuts

Oklahoma Health Care Authority officials said Wednesday the agency will likely look at cuts to provider rates in the state beginning in the upcoming fiscal year.

OHCA spokeswoman Jennie Melendez said the agency has recommended a 7.75 percent provider rate cut, decreasing the amount of money that it reimburses medical professionals for the health care services they provide.

OHCA will go into FY2015 with a flat budget, after receiving a $47.7 million supplemental for this fiscal year and a nearly identical cut for the upcoming fiscal year.

The flat budget is a relief to the agency who was facing the possibility of a 5.5 percent cut and the possibility of looking at cutting provider rates up to 14 percent. “The tough budget year our leadership was faced with is not something we take lightly,” Melendez said. “This was our best case scenario [to have a flat budget] but we’re still looking at some cuts.”

The agency had proactively outlined what potential cuts up to 5.5 percent would look like for the agency in anticipation of their FY2015 appropriation. Along with cutting provider rates, the Health Care Authority has looked at a number of other areas where the agency and state could save money, such as require prior authorization on all prescriptions for controlled dangerous substances.

Melendez said the agency will also recommend target program cuts, such as cuts to their perinatal dental program. Final approval of these recommendations will be brought before the OHCA board June 26.

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