OHCA board reverses provider rate reductions

Posted on: 1/3/18


The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) board met in special session on Dec. 29 and voted to reverse provider rate reductions that were approved on Dec. 1 and scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1.

During the second special session, the Oklahoma Legislature passed an additional appropriation providing the agency with $17.7 million. These funds, coupled with the $22.8 million that was provided when Gov. Mary Fallin approved sections of the appropriations bill on Nov. 17, give the agency enough funds to operate at current levels until April.

The OHCA had already taken several budget balancing actions preparing for the agency’s $70 million reduction to its appropriation due to the loss of the smoking cessation fee and in order to submit a balanced budget. Several program changes have been implemented in SFY18 that produce savings of approximately $3.2 million for SFY18. In addition, $4.65 million in 2017 general revenue was returned to the agency in 2018 and the agency had $12 million in carryover from SFY17.  

On Dec. 1, the OHCA board approved across-the-board provider rate reductions of 6 percent and 1 percent for nursing facilities as well as eliminating Medicare crossover coinsurance and deductible payments for nursing facilities to be effective Jan. 1. These actions were taken to help cover the remainder of the $70 million base reduction.

“We are thankful to state leadership for continuing to work toward a solution to protect our providers and the Medicaid program. The OHCA has long held a commitment to our providers to pay rates that ensure access to care for our SoonerCare members. The additional appropriation we received allows us to continue that mission,” said OHCA CEO Becky Pasternik-Ikard.

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