5 Oklahoma medical associations file injunction against Governor’s managed Medicaid plan

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Several state medical associations have filed an injunction with the Oklahoma Supreme Court against Gov. Kevin Stitt’s managed Medicaid plan.

The Oklahoma State Medical Association, Oklahoma Osteopathic Association, Oklahoma Society of Anesthesiologists, American Academy of Pediatrics—Oklahoma Chapter and the Oklahoma Dental Association are all plaintiffs seeking the injunction, which would put the contracting process in Gov. Kevin Stitt’s effort to revamp Medicaid on hold until the State Legislature can review and approve the major change.

Dr. George Monks with the Oklahoma State Medical Association says the plan should’ve gone through the legislature.

“We’re mainly concerned that the legislature has had no impact whatsoever so you have on elected official in an executive branch and a handful of unelected bureaucrats putting Oklahoma taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars,” Monks said. 

He says an attempt at managed Medicaid in the 1990s didn’t go well.

“It failed miserably due to increased red tape, sporadic payments, providers became frustrated, dentists, physicians, started dropped out of the program to the point there were access to care issues,” Monks said. 

State Sen. Rob Standridge (R-Norman) is one of the state legislators who’s opposed to the plan and is concerned about the cost. 

“This doesn’t improve health outcomes, that’s a massive stretch, and I would encourage citizens to question whether they want this much of their money on out of the state companies to run their Medicaid system,” he said. 

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority released this statement:

“We are aware of the filing. The Oklahoma Health Care Authority believes that applicable Oklahoma law provides full authority for its development of the plan to improve the present delivery of the Oklahoma Medicaid Program to the managed care system and will respond to the specific legal claims in due course,” Melissa Richey, OHCA Chief of Communications, said. 

She says managed care will make the state’s health budget more predictable in the future and it’ll end up saving money.

“The estimated savings dollar amount in rate year one is approximately $25 million total (about $1 million state share due to breakdown between expansion/traditional Medicaid) according to draft rates. True “savings” will be determined after year 1 using encounter data to establish rates in subsequent years,” Richey said.

Carly Atchison, spokesperson for the governor’s office, sent this statement:

“Oklahomans hired Governor Stitt to bring a fresh set of eyes to all areas of government, including health care delivery. It is unacceptable that Oklahoma ranks among the worst states in the nation for health outcomes and the governor is determined to change that by moving to outcomes-based care.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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