KGOU

Health Care Authority Director Says Program Needs $120 Million To Maintain Services

Mar 18, 2015

Credit Oklahoma Health Care Authority

Oklahoma's top Medicaid officer says the health care program needs $120 million more state dollars next year to maintain services at current levels for the more than 800,000 young, elderly and disabled Oklahomans it serves each month.

Oklahoma Health Care Authority CEO Nico Gomez spoke Wednesday to members of the Senate Committee on Appropriations while outlining the agency's budget request for the fiscal year that begins July 1. The agency's current budget is about $953 million.

State lawmakers face a $611 million dollar budget shortfall as they craft a budget for the coming year and Gomez acknowledged the agency may not receive the funding it needs to maintain current levels of service.

Gomez says a $50 million cut in funding will result in an 18 percent decrease in provider rates.

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