Oklahoma medical association urges physicians to consider dropping Medicaid patients due to 25% rate cut

After the Oklahoma Health Care Authority — the state's Medicaid agency — said Medicaid rates will likely be cut by nearly 25 percent as of June 1, leaders from the Oklahoma State Medical Association are asking physicians to consider dropping out of Medicaid, according to Tulsa World.

"We are fully aware this will create an access-to-care crisis for rural residents, vulnerable seniors, the disabled and the nearly 60 percent of Oklahoma babies born under Medicaid," said OSMA President Woody Jenkins, MD, according to the report. "But a 25 percent rate cut, combined with previous cuts that had already been made in recent years, will leave many of our members with little choice."

The OHCA is considering cutting rates because Oklahoma is facing a $1.3 million shortage in creating a budget for fiscal year 2017.

Dr. Jenkins said maintaining a practice is "unsustainable" if the rates are decreased by 25 percent.

Tandie Hastings, board president of the Oklahoma Association of Health Care Providers, used similar language to describe the potential cuts. "At a 25 percent cut, 93 percent of our facilities will be operating at a loss every single day," she said, according to the report. The OAHCP represents nursing home facilities throughout the state. "That is unsustainable, and the result will be a mass closure of nursing homes. When that happens a lot of seniors and disabled individuals will be cut out of options for receiving care," she added.

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