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SoonerCare

Images Money / Flickr

If State Question 802 passes, approximately 200,000 more people will be eligible for SoonerCare, the state’s Medicaid program. Whether SoonerCare can handle the increased patient population is another question.

Amber England, executive director of Yes on 802, speaks to supporters of Medicaid expansion at the Secretary of State’s office on Oct. 24, 2019, when the group submitted more than 300,000 signatures to add a state question on expansion a ballot in 2020.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Campaign signs are appearing along roadways and advertisements are popping up on screens of all kinds as voters prepare to decide on expanding Medicaid coverage in Oklahoma. The June 30th election for state question 802 was a long time coming.

Advocates Push For Medicaid Expansion In Oklahoma

Oct 17, 2019
Oklahomans Decide Healthcare announced they have collected the required 178,000 signatures to get the question on the ballot.
Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Medicaid expansion advocates are working to collect the required 178,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot next year. It would mean extending health insurance to thousands of people—and an estimated $100 million dollar price tag. As StateImpact’s Jackie Fortier reports, Medicaid expansion could be decided at the ballot box or at the statehouse.

Lena Chatmon, 21, prepares a meal for her fiance and sister, who live with her in a house in north Tulsa. Chatmon said potential employers were turned off by her criminal record.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Like many other Oklahomans who have a criminal conviction, Lena Chatmon has struggled to rebuild her life since pleading guilty to motor vehicle-related and larceny charges in 2017.

The Oklahoma Hospital Association estimates that half of rural to mid-sized hospitals in Oklahoma are in danger of shuttering.
Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

On Election Day, voters in three traditionally Republican-led states will decide whether or not to expand Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor and people with disabilities.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Drew Edmondson says if elected, he will make expanding Medicaid in the Sooner state a top priority.
Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

On a hot Monday afternoon, Zora Sampson stands behind rows of chairs set up in the lobby of the hospital in Pauls Valley. Sampson supports the Democratic candidate for Governor Drew Edmondson — and turned up to hear his plan to help rural hospitals. 

Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

A state budget crunch could lead to less money for health care providers in Oklahoma.

 

Oklahoma’s state Medicaid agency may cut Medicaid reimbursements rates by up to 25 percent to make up for a state budget shortfall of almost $900 million. Preston Doerflinger, the state’s budget director, has asked the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to prepare for a possible 15 percent reduction in state appropriations. This means that companies providing services to Medicaid patients might not be fully reimbursed by the government. 

 

Buffy Heater, chief strategy officer of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, is evaluating options for shifting part of Oklahoma’s Medicaid population into a “coordinated care” program using private-sector contractors.
Warren Vieth / Oklahoma Watch

At the insistence of state lawmakers, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority is exploring cost-saving options that could lead to partial privatization of the state’s $2.4 billion Medicaid program for aged, blind and disabled people.

The state tried that once before, and it didn’t work out. Costs escalated, companies dropped out, and the state pulled the plug. Supporters of the new effort predicted it might turn out better because of improvements in managed-care practices.

SoonerCare Department Tackles Complex Health Issues

Dec 11, 2014
a stack of dollar bills with a stethoscope and bottle of pills
James Martin / Flickr

Overall enrollment in SoonerCare programs increased in October, Population Care Management Director Marlene Asmussen said Thursday during a meeting of the Oklahoma 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.

More Money Needed For Oklahoma Health Care Authority

Oct 10, 2014
Charles Ed McFall, Chairman, The Oklahoma Health Care Authority Board of Directors
Oklahoma Health Care Authority

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority Board approved a request to the legislature to increase funding by $275 million for next fiscal year. Of that increase, nearly 60% would fund the agency’s priority items and maintain their existing program in fiscal year 2016.

The increase would add to the base funding of around $953 million in state funds.

Senate Committee Hears Oklahoma SoonerCare Overview

Sep 29, 2014
Images Money / Flickr

Members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee heard an overview Monday of Oklahoma’s Medicaid program.

Chairman Brian Crain, R-Tulsa, said the overview would provide lawmakers a better understanding of where the program stands going into the next legislative session.

Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, most commonly referred to as SoonerCare, is managed by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

Oklahoma Forum: Medicaid And Insure Oklahoma

Sep 8, 2014

Oklahoma Forum host Dick Pryor discusses recent changes in SoonerCare, Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, and Insure Oklahoma with Nico Gomez, Chief Executive Officer, Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

Images Money / Flickr

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.

stethoscope
Lora Zibman / Flickr Creative Commons

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 Javoric / Flickr Creative Commons

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.