Medicaid Rate Discussion and Alert

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Nurse Alert: Medicaid Update - Nurses And Services At Unprecedented Risk!

Thanks to everyone who participated Tuesday evening in the AONP and ONA webinar/conference call with Nico Gomez, CEO of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. Gomez discussed the dramatic cuts that OHCA and DMHSAS have been forced to make due to the budget shortfall. He also discussed the Medicaid Rebalancing Act of 2020, OHCA’s proposal to shore up the state’s Medicaid program and ensure that the provider rates cuts are short-lived. 

If you weren’t able to participate in the webinar or want to watch it again, the link to the recording is https://oklahomanurses.adobeconnect.com/p9bdgial0lp/  And here is the PowerPoint for the webinar.

 

Background:

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority has announced that it has been forced to cut allMedicaid provider rates by 25% effective June 1, 2016!  This reduction in rates includes nurses, your employers, your facilities, staff, pharmacy, and anything billed under SoonerCare.

As you may know these cuts will be catastrophic for nurses, patients, hospitals, nursing homes, rehab services, community mental health centers, psychiatrists and psychologists, and will affect untold hundreds of thousands of lives!  Here is the document shared by OHCA on the Medicaid Rebalancing Act.

Next Steps:

Please assess the realistic affects for the cuts to the people you care for, the facilities you work in, and the communities you serve, then call and write to your state legislators immediately!

Send letters describing the effects of the 25% cuts, and resulting losses to your State Senator and your State House of Representatives member NOW! Email them and send via snail mail to your legislators.  If you are not sure who represents you at the state Capitol, that information can be found here: http://www.oklegislature.gov/FindMyLegislature.aspx

These stories should be personal and specific. Explain how these cuts will affect your life and the lives of those around you.  Include how long can the services you provide endure these cuts (1 month, 6 months,1 year, 4 years)?

We hope that you will also include send them to Nico Gomez (address below) and your local paper. Emails can be sent to Mr. Gomez and the OHCA at PublicComment@okhca.org or send them via snail mail to:

 

Nico Gomez
Director

Oklahoma Health Care Authority

4345 N. Lincoln Blvd.

Oklahoma City, OK 73105

 

In your letter, you might also consider describing the following:

  • If you work for an entity providing care to the elderly…how many frail and elderly members of the Legislator’s district will be left homeless if you must close?
  • How many people will lose their jobs in the community if you must close?
  • How will care be provided if you are understaffed due to budget cuts?
  • How will care for seniors, for young mothers, for children…etc… be harmed if revenue is reduced?
  • What will happen to the mentally ill who can no longer acquire the medication they need due to the 25% cuts in pharmacy, or the 25% cuts to psychiatrists, psychologists, or Psych APRNs?
  • What will happen to your community or to small towns in rural Oklahoma when the hospital...is forced to close its doors, because the 25% cuts are just too deep?
    • What will happen without the hospital’s emergency room?
  • The physical health and the financial well being of entire communities will suffer, as other businesses dependent upon the hospital or nursing home are affected as well.  Explain these relationships in your communities.  Make it personal and relatable.

Serve as Nurse of the Day

We also need Nurses to serve as Nurse of the Day. This will provide you an opportunity to talk with Legislators on the effects that cuts to the Medicaid Provider Rate will have to your patients and to your practice along with the Medicaid Rebalancing Act. Click here to register for Nurse of the Day after you view the available dates.  ONA’s Nurse of the Day program serves as an effective advocacy tool for nurses across the state to talk one on one with Legislators. Everyday of the legislative session a registered nurse has the opportunity to actively participate in the legislative process. LEARN MORE

One in every 3 Oklahomans is enrolled in Medicaid. These cuts will be catastrophic to the health care infrastructure in Oklahoma. We must act, and we must act quickly, to educate lawmakers about the consequences of these cuts and motivate them to work together to find a solution!

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