Column: New Medicaid delivery system announced | Oklahoma

In 2020, a majority of Oklahoma voters approved an expansion of the state’s Medicaid system to include an additional 190,000 Oklahomans.

Since then, I have worked with other lawmakers to draft legislation that would help us provide these services in the most efficient and cost-effective way while improving overall health outcomes for the one million Oklahomans who currently receive Medicaid. We’ve also ensured that Oklahoma-based companies are given priority in managing care for our most vulnerable citizens instead of the state contracting with large out-of-state insurance companies.

After several years of struggling to get the right plan in place, including withstanding a legal challenge, I’m happy to say we’ve codified a system that will transform the way the state delivers Medicaid. This system, now called SoonerSelect, prioritizes access and quality health outcomes for members and creates preferential opportunities for Oklahoma provider-run entities to partner with Oklahoma Health Care Authority as contracted entities. This is all based on Senate Bill 1337, which I drafted with Senator Greg McCortney.

An additional measure, Senate Bill 1396, will help our state raise additional federal funds to supplement payments to eligible vendors.

I attended a press conference last week to announce the details of the new model. At the press conference, Kevin Corbett, Secretary of Health and Mental Health, CEO of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, said our legislation has resulted in overwhelming support and approval for OHCA to make this change. to the new delivery system that benefits all parties involved. Governor Stitt also thanked Senator McCortney and myself for our legislation and leadership on health care policy in the Legislative Assembly.

Corbett noted that for decades Oklahoma has lagged other states in health outcomes and access to care for those who cannot afford to pay. This new plan should help change that.

It should be noted that our legislation was based on contributions from health care providers across the state, including Medicaid participants, hospitals, clinics, individual practitioners, and others. We have also carefully studied the delivery models used by other states, especially those that achieve the desired results.

Corbett said in his comments that this new delivery model will change and save lives. I totally agree. Richie Splitt, President and CEO, Norman Regional Health System, said SoonerSelect is an advanced healthcare model that will remove many of the burdens that prevent Oklahomans from receiving timely and continuous care. This will ensure that our state’s most vulnerable citizens will have better access to preventative care and care coordination. The system was designed to inspire people to live healthier lives by taking a more holistic approach.

Everyone involved in this change agrees that we want Oklahoma to be a safer and healthier place to live, and this new model of healthcare delivery will help us achieve that goal.

Do not hesitate to contact me at or (405) 557-7327.

God protects you! Mark

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