Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: October 11, 2013
Sen. Rob Standridge
Senate panel set to examine Medicaid reform
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Health
and Human Services will begin its examination of possible changes
to Medicaid in Oklahoma in a meeting scheduled for Oct. 23.
Requested by Sen. Rob
Standridge, the interim study will review reform models implemented
by other states to improve medical outcomes and create fiscally
sustainable programs for the management of Medicaid. Standridge
said the state is spending more on Medicaid than ever before, with
appropriations to the program exceeding $953 million in fiscal year
2013 – 13.3 percent of the state’s overall budget. In
fiscal year 2000, the state spent $333 million on the program.
Standridge said his study would be the beginning of an open process
involving providers, consumers and other stakeholders to determine
the best course of action for reform.
“Ensuring that Oklahomans have access to quality health care
and improved services through the program should be our foremost
goal. I’m confident we can find a policy approach that improves
outcomes, and safeguards the long term sustainability of the system,”
said Standridge, R-Norman. “With appropriations to the program
nearing $1 billion, it is critical that we begin examining reforms
that have proven successful elsewhere.”
Standridge said the committee would learn about reform models implemented
by Florida, Georgia, and Kansas, and hear why North Carolina is
moving toward a market-centered reform of their Medicaid system.
Kansas Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer is scheduled to testify regarding the
success of KanCare, the program Kansas adopted as it transitioned
its Medicaid system to a managed-care model. KanCare saved $160
million this year, Standridge noted. In addition, the program has
allowed Kansas to add coverage for life-saving procedures like heart
and lung transplants.
“Long term savings at this level would give the Legislature
tremendous flexibility as we consider our needs in other important
areas. The experience of other states may provide us with a roadmap
to achieve similar results while improving health outcomes,”
Standridge said. “Understanding the important role this program
plays in the lives of so many Oklahomans, it is important for the
committee to seek and address questions and input from the public.
We want a wide range of voices and perspectives involved in the
process, to ensure we consider all relevant concerns.”
For more information, contact:
Sen. Standridge: (405) 521-5535