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Oklahoma seeks to privatize Medicaid care

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma agency that oversees the state’s Medicaid program has published two requests for proposals seeking for-profit companies to outsource care for most Medicaid recipients.

Following direction from Gov. Kevin Stitt, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority on Thursday took initial steps to pursue an approach for health insurance coverage that seeks to maximize health care quality while cutting costs, according to The Oklahoman. The program will be called SoonerSelect.

So far, at least 40 other states have implemented managed care.

“It’s clear what we’ve done in the past is not working as well as we desire, and it is time for Oklahoma to try a new approach in order for us to provide the quality of health care Oklahomans deserve,” said Kevin Corbett, the agency’s CEO.

The agency will oversee medical and dental spending for 773,794 of the state’s nearly 1 million Medicaid recipients, including children, pregnant women, parent and caretaker relatives and more. Over time, the agency may phase in additional Medicaid populations, such as the aged, blind and disabled.

Corbett said he doesn’t anticipate the change will result in any cost increases to the state. Oklahoma will pay the contracted companies to manage care for most Oklahoma Medicaid recipients and the compensation rate, which will be released at a later point, will be based on the number of enrollees.

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