Families New To SoonerCare Having Trouble Finding Physicians

Friday, January 7th 2011, 2:45 pm
By: News 9

Adrianna Iwasinski, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Trisha Swindle had a job, insurance and a pediatrician for her three kids up until September. Then she was laid off.

"My husband is getting his PhD," said Swindle. "So, all of our insurance fell on me since I was the one with a job."

She turned to SoonerCare for help when her insurance benefits expired and she couldn't find a full-time job that fit the needs of her family. SoonerCare is the state provided Medicaid program for children and adults that is available for families who meet the requirements.

Learn more information about SoonerCare.

But then, Swindle hit a roadblock. She discovered her current pediatrician was not accepting new SoonerCare patients. And neither were all the other pediatricians she called on the SoonerCare list.

"I kept hitting brick walls and didn't know what to do," Swindle said.

That's when she called News 9 for help. We went to the Healthcare Authority, which runs the SoonerCare program for some answers.

Jo Kilgore works for the Healthcare Authority and said they've seen a steady increase in enrollees in the SoonerCare program, but not a drop in doctors accepting the program.

"We don't have a shortage of providers," Kilgore said.

Carter Kimble with the Healthcare Authority said Swindle's case is a rarity.

Once News 9 brought Swindle's case to their attention, she got a call from her old pediatrician's office. A spot for her family opened up on their SoonerCare list.

For more information on the SoonerCare program, call 1-800-987-7767.