Harrison receives 2017 Friend of Technology Award from OTA

Posted on: 10/11/17

Sandra Harrison, OHA director of regulatory and legal affairs, was honored by the Oklahoma Technology Association with the 2017 Friend of Technology Award at their annual meeting on Oct. 4. The OTA is made up of public school (K-12) directors of technology from across Oklahoma.

In 2016, a small coalition worked together to overhaul the Oklahoma Universal Service Fund at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which is funded from telephone fees. The fund pays for broadband for schools, libraries and non-profit health care telemedicine. The result of that collaboration was HB 2616 in the 2016 legislative session. OHA partner Kellogg & Sovereign wrote and rewrote the bill and Harrison advised on the politics and kept the OTA advised of when to insert themselves in the process. If not for one of the technology directors who brought the right superintendent to the Capitol, who had the right relationship with a key legislator, the legislation would not have succeeded.

Harrison said, “Working as a lobbyist in health care is a collaboration of many worthy folks. It is rare to be singled out for an individual award. I’m humbled to be recognized.” Harrison is also the chairman of the Telehealth Alliance of Oklahoma, a non-profit group that advocates for parity in telehealth reimbursement and sound telehealth policy in Oklahoma.

HB 2616 (Thomsen/Fields) Effective May 9, 2016:
The bill moves the Oklahoma Universal Service Fund (OUSF) from a litigation-based system to an administrative process, which is key to creating efficiency in the fund, by reducing Oklahoma Corporation Commission (OCC) staff time and telecommunications carrier time. The bill also establishes deadlines for OCC action once an application for funding is received. Telemedicine will be funded by federal programs first and the remainder by the OUSF. The bill provides for approval of eligible services and credit amounts for the beneficiary before the telecommunication service begins. Competitive bidding for services is now required. All OUSF beneficiaries will apply for federal funds. Federal funds received by beneficiaries will continue to offset state costs.

OHA Data Solutions 

Introducing a new initiative to improve the quality and timeliness of inpatient and outpatient encounter data available to hospitals in Oklahoma.

Learn More »