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Rural, Child, Nursing Home Care To Take Hit If Deal Isn't Done

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

State lawmakers now have just five days left to fill a $900 million budget gap and progress is stalling as the House has adjourned until Monday.

The latest proposal is said to raise around $400 million. That plan includes a cigarette tax but not an increase in the gross production tax.

With the deadline looming, concerns from state agencies continue.

The state's Medicaid program, SoonerCare, is now preparing for rate reductions. The Health Care Authority runs SoonerCare and CEO Becky Pasternik-Ikard said in a statement:

The feedback we’ve received in these meetings is that these rate reductions are going to have significant consequences to many providers. As SoonerCare pays for more than half of all of the births in our state, provides health care benefits to more than 60 percent of the state’s children as well as funds about two-thirds of all of the nursing home care in our state, provider rate reductions will have unavoidable consequences on the availability of services. Rural areas could be hit particularly hard.  Providers will be faced with the difficult choice of whether or not to continue to serve SoonerCare members.

It's reported SoonerCare covers half of all of the births in our state, provides health care benefits to more than 60 percent of the state's children, and funds about two-thirds of all of nursing home care.

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