Monday, May 4, 2015
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today signed House Bill 1566, a bill aiming to reduce costs while improving health services provided by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA).
HB 1566 directs the OHCA to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for care coordination models for the aged, blind and disabled (ABD) Oklahomans who are enrolled in the state’s SoonerCare (Oklahoma Medicaid) program. According to the agency’s Annual Report, the ABDs comprised 16.4 percent of the total SoonerCare enrollment in 2014. The group accounted for 46.6 percent of SoonerCare expenditures.
The first step in this process will be for the OHCA to seek information from advocacy groups, providers, insurers, members and all other interested parties to define the parameters for the RFP. OHCA leadership expects this information gathering phase of the process to take several months and anticipates the RFP to be released in early 2016.
“This bill starts the process of finding better, more efficient ways to serve SoonerCare enrollees with special needs,” said Fallin. “I appreciate OHCA’s commitment to finding the best possible methods of delivering high quality services to Oklahoma taxpayers.”
In the initial phase, the OHCA will work to ensure they have input from a broad cross section of those who might be affected by any proposed changes. Information about the RFP process will be posted to the agency’s website, okhca.org, as it becomes available.
“We are always looking for new and innovative ways to better coordinate delivery of health care for all our SoonerCare members,” said OHCA CEO Nico Gomez. “We are well-respected nationally for our managed care initiatives and outcomes. We look forward to working with everyone to ensure we continue the most responsive and responsible means of caring for our seniors and our individuals with disabilities.”
The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) administers Oklahoma’s Medicaid program, known as SoonerCare, and Insure Oklahoma, a premium assistance program funded by tobacco tax revenue. SoonerCare works to improve the health outcomes of Oklahomans by ensuring that medically necessary benefits and services are responsive to the health care needs of our members. Qualifying Oklahomans include low-income children, pregnant women, seniors, the disabled, those being treated for breast or cervical cancer and those seeking family planning services. All must meet income guidelines. Insure Oklahoma assists qualifying adults and small business employees in obtaining health care coverage for themselves and their families. OHCA works with our current 840,665 members, our statewide network of 41,631 health care providers and numerous state and local partners to promote responsible health care service utilization, healthy behaviors and improved health outcomes. For more information, visit www.okhca.org or www.insureoklahoma.org.