Senate Health and Human Services Chair Greg McCortney held an interim study at the Capitol this week examining how the governor’s push toward a managed care system for Medicaid could have unintended yet significant financial consequences for the state if Indian health care services are not handled correctly.
Presenters for the study included health care policy experts for the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations as well as representatives of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA).
“Federal reimbursement rates for Medicaid are about 60 percent, and the state picks up the remaining 40 percent, but the reimbursement rate for Indian health care is 100 percent,” said McCortney, R-Ada, whose District 13 covers most of Garvin County.
“But if the Health Care Authority simply rolls Indian health care in with non-tribal Medicaid patients, the state could end up holding the bag for 40 percent of the cost—millions and millions of dollars we’ve not previously been responsible for.
“That’s why it is so important for the state to get this right. If we don’t, Oklahoma could be responsible for literally hundreds of millions of additional dollars for health care.”
McCortney said the Health Care Authority is currently drafting the requests for proposals for a managed care system.