Medicaid

Oklahoma now has fewer than 100 days until voter-approved Medicaid expansion takes effect, and a think tank has recommendations for implementing it. 

Oklahoma Policy Institute Health Policy Fellow Emma Morris said the main recommendation is to start enrollment now. The Oklahoma Health Care Authority currently plans to wait until July 1.

Stuart Ostler / Oklahoma Capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A group of Oklahoma medical organizations filed suit Thursday seeking to stop Gov. Kevin Stitt from privatizing much of the state’s Medicaid program.

The Oklahoma State Medical Association, Oklahoma Dental Association and other state medical groups filed a petition that asks the state Supreme Court to weigh in.

They argue that the Oklahoma Health Care Authority proceeded with the plan without the legislative approval required to fund the proposal.

Oklahoma State Medical Association

The Oklahoma State Medical Association announced Saturday it plans to ask the Oklahoma Supreme Court for an injunction that would prevent the state from proceeding with contracts to oversee managed care of Oklahoma's expanded Medicaid program.

KWGS News file photo

An executive at Oklahoma’s largest health care system told Oklahoma lawmakers he’s wary of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s current plan to privatize the state’s Medicaid program.

Oklahoma Chooses Vendors For $2B Partial Privatization Of Medicaid

Jan 29, 2021

State officials announced the winners of up to $2.1 billion in health care contracts on Friday, a major milestone in implementing Oklahoma’s hotly debated privatized Medicaid program.

Four private health insurance companies will handle much of Oklahoma’s Medicaid program starting in October: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma; Humana Healthy Horizons; Oklahoma Complete Health, which is a subsidiary of managed care giant Centene; and United Healthcare.

The state of Oklahoma has chosen the companies that will manage the state's expanded Medicaid program.

"The Secretary of Health and Mental Health and Oklahoma Health Care Authority CEO, Kevin Corbett, will announce the selected managed care organizations who will assist OHCA in implementing a comprehensive managed care delivery system for certain SoonerCare members," the state said in a Thursday press release. "The managed care program will be known as SoonerSelect."

Oklahoma Watch

Governor Kevin Stitt’s plan to outsource management of Oklahoma’s expanded Medicaid program to a for-profit company cleared a procedural hurdle on Tuesday.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority Board approved on Tuesday spending up to $2.1 billion on contracts next fiscal year with managed care organizations, or MCOs. The 6–3 vote came after public comment from representatives from a handful of health organizations, all of them opposed.

The fight over outsourcing management of Oklahoma’s expanding Medicaid program looms large over the upcoming legislative session.

During a budget hearing Monday for the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chair Greg McCortney (R-Ada) asked CEO Kevin Corbett about $217 million in estimated reserve cash the agency has from increased federal funding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A former employee of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s administration has registered as a lobbyist for a private health care company that’s bidding on a state contract to manage Oklahoma’s Medicaid program.

Our guest is the author and doctor Michael Stein, who's also a professor of health law, policy, and management at Boston University. He tells us about his new book, which presents the many various moving, sobering, genuine, and often heartbreaking accounts of his patients about money...and about having (or not having) enough money to simply get by in the U.S. today. "Broke" gives us the words and thoughts of those now facing the reality of having to choose between getting medical treatments or paying their bills. As was noted of this book by Dr.

Pixabay

Administration may be the big fight over Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma.

Lawmakers leading the discussion are confident they can use a plan vetoed by Gov. Kevin Stitt as a funding fallback. It used an increased assessment on hospital revenue to come up with around $130 million, most if not all of Oklahoma’s share of around $1 billion in expansion costs.

Yes on 802

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma voters narrowly decided on Tuesday to expand Medicaid health insurance to tens of thousands low-income residents, becoming the first state to amend its Constitution to do so.

Matt Trotter / KWGS

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A question on whether to expand Medicaid in Oklahoma and a crowded Republican field vying to challenge the state’s lone congressional Democratare drawing the most attention ahead of Tuesday’s primary election.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Kevin Stitt on Thursday said he still does not support State Question 802, the ballot question to be voted on by Oklahomans on Tuesday regarding whether the state's Medicaid program should be expanded.

"It's going to be either raising taxes, which I'm not going to be for, or it's going to be cutting services from other state agencies" like education and public safety, Stitt said on how the state would fund the expansion if passed by voters.

On this edition of ST, we're talking about State Question 802, the Medicaid expansion initiative that Oklahoma voters will cast ballots for or against on Tuesday of next week. This measure, per ballotpedia.org, would "expand Medicaid in Oklahoma under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. It would provide Medicaid coverage for certain low-income adults between 18 and 65 with incomes at or below 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL).

Gov. Kevin Stitt has put a state question to expand Medicaid in Oklahoma on the June 30 ballot.

State Question 802 supporters turned in more than 313,000 signatures last year to qualify the proposal for a statewide vote. It needed 178,000.

From Flickr, licensed uncer CC BY 2.0.

Governor Kevin Stitt's proposal to retool Oklahoma's Medicaid system closed its 30-day public input period on Wednesday, but some Oklahomans say the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic made that timeframe inadequate for such a consequential policy change.

As many of us return home for the holidays, we might see certain signs that our parents are not only aging but also, perhaps, are in declining health. What are those signs, and what should we do if we see them? Our guest has some answers. He's Tulsa-based attorney Todd Whatley, and he's with the Oklahoma Elder Law Group.

One in five Americans now has medical debt in collections. Today's rising health care costs threaten pretty much every small business in the nation. How did we get here? What can be done? Our guest on ST Medical Monday is the bestselling author and Johns Hopkins surgeon, Dr. Martin Makary, who tells us about his book, "The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care -- and How to Fix It." The book offers, per Kirkus Reviews, "plain talk from a surgeon and professor who has long studied health care issues and finds the American system badly in need of repair....

On this edition of Medical Monday, as the Oklahoma Legislature has just recently completed its annual session, we offer a detailed review of whether and how our state's lawmakers have addressed various medical and healh-related issues. Our guest is Carly Putnam with the non-profit, non-partisan Oklahoma Policy Institute, where she serves as Policy Director and Health Care Policy Analyst.

In the immediate wake of Governor Stitt's State of the State Address, and as the 2019 legislative session gets underway in OKC, we welcome back to StudioTulsa our longtime colleague David Blatt, who's been the Executive Director of the non-partisan, non-profit OK Policy think tank since 2010. Blatt chats with us in detail about what lawmakers at the State Capitol might attempt or accomplish regarding education, criminal justice, health, economic opportunity, taxes, and the state's budget.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we speak with Dan Weissmann, a veteran radio reporter for outlets like Marketplace, 99 Percent Invisible, Planet Money, and Chicago's WBEZ. He joins us to talk about his new podcast, An Arm and a Leg, which focuses on the cost of health care in the U.S. Weissmann is the host and executive producer of this podcast, which just launched earlier this month. As noted at the Arm and a Leg website: "Health care -- and how much it costs -- is scary. But you're not alone with this stuff, and knowledge is power.

On this edition of our program, we're discussing a recent DHS-related proposal put forth by the Trump Administration as well as local efforts to challenge this proposal. The proposal in question would change the accepted ferderal definition of Public Charge, which is a term used by immigration officials to refer to certain legal immigrants who are able to receive government benefits like food assistance, housing assistance, and health care.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we learn about Physicians for a National Health Program (or PNHP). This collective, per its website, is "a nonprofit research and education organization of 20,000 physicians, medical students, and health professionals who support single-payer national health insurance." Our guest is Dr. Ed Weisbart, who heads the Missouri Chapter of PNHP.

On this installment of ST Medical Monday, we offer a wide-ranging chat with Dr. Harold Pollack, the Helen Ross Professor at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration. He's written prolifically on the inter-related topics of poverty, policy, crime, and public health; his articles have appeared in scholarly journals like Journal of the American Medical Association and Social Service Review as well as in political magazines like The Nation and The New Republic.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we speak with Susan Harris, a longtime economic-development advocate and public-education expert here in Tulsa. Harris recently retired from the Tulsa Regional Chamber, where she served as the Senior Vice-President of Education and Workforce Development. Harris is also an active caregiver; she has personally assisted a few different elderly relatives who were admitted to nursing homes in our community, and she continues to help certain family members in this way.

On this broadcast of ST Medical Monday, our guest is Chris Bernard, the executive director of Hunger Free Oklahoma. This nonprofit, per its website, "works to bring a unified, statewide voice to the issue and solutions surrounding hunger, with a goal to ensure all Oklahomans have access to affordable, nutritious food. Hunger Free Oklahoma holds the core belief that hunger is solvable, unnecessary, and unjust, and it impacts everyone living in Oklahoma.

On this installment of ST Medical Monday, our guest is Dr. David Kendrick, CEO of the locally based nonprofit, MyHealth Access Network. This network, serving more than 2 million clients throughout Greater Tulsa, works to link health care providers and their patients in a digitally-driven data network aimed at improving the health of patients, reducing inefficiency and waste, and coordinating care more effectively. As Dr. Kendrick tells us today, MyHealth Access Network has recently received a $4.5 million federal grant to establish the Route 66 Accountable Health Community.

On this edition of our program, we learn about the Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative, or OHAI, which was, per its website, "established in 2012 by a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. OHAI understands that good health is key to successful aging. We focus in improving the health of older adults across the state through caregiver-training and health-promotion education. We also partner with health systems to establish senior health clinics to increase access to geriatric health care.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we're joined by Elizabeth Rosenthal, formerly of The New York Times, who tells us about her widely acclaimed new book, "An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back." This volume, which grew out of the "Paying Till It Hurts" series of healthcare columns that she wrote for the Times, was thus praised in a starred in Publishers Weekly: "Rosenthal, a New York Times senior writer and former physician, provocatively analyzes the U.S.

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