OHA opposes bills removing authority of state health boards

Posted on: 3/1/18


SB 1248, David, died in the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services this week. It would have provided for the governor to appoint the commissioner of mental health and substance abuse services, the commissioner of health and the director of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority by removing the authority of the agency boards to hire and remove the agency directors. OHA is opposed to any measure that makes health boards advisory or repeals the board and permits the governor to hire and fire agency directors. In the case of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the next governor could direct that director to issue a request for proposal to outsource Medicaid without any input from the Legislature or providers.

To view OHA talking points on this issue, click here.

Similar bills passed the House Committee on Rules this week. With minimal discussion and no debate, the committee advanced several bills Tuesday that would transfer the appointment power for several key agency leaders from the agencies’ boards to the governor.

The bills provide for the governor to be given the authority to appoint the commissioner, director or executive director of the agency. Qualifications for each respective agency board would remain unchanged, but each board would be moved to an advisory body status. The effective date on all of them would be Jan. 14, 2019, the same day Oklahoma’s next governor will take office. Bills related to the health agencies include HB 2822, Echols, Commissioner of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services; HB 2934, Mulready, Oklahoma Health Care Authority; and, HB 3036, Lepak, Board of Health. (Lynne White)

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 »