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Local & Regional

Oklahoma Medicaid Agency Announces 25 Percent Provider Cuts

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The agency that operates Medicaid in Oklahoma is notifying health care providers of a planned 25 percent cut in reimbursement rates, an amount officials say will have a "market changing" effect on health care in the state.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority announced its plan Tuesday to slash by 25 percent the amount it reimburses to hospitals and physicians for treating patients on Medicaid, which is called SoonerCare in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Hospital Association President Craig Jones says the cuts will result in serious operating problems for both smaller rural and larger urban hospitals, many of which already are struggling.

Jones says the cuts also will lead to physicians no longer treating Medicaid patients.

The cuts will affect hospitals, physicians, pharmacies, durable medical equipment providers and nursing facilities.