2017 Midwest AAOE Scholarship Winner:
Oklahoma weighs steep cuts to provider pay, Medicaid benefits
By Rachana Pradhan
04/10/2017 03:47 PM EDT
Oklahoma’s Medicaid agency is considering slashing provider reimbursement rates by 25 percent and eliminating several optional benefits amid ongoing budget woes, officials said today.
This is the second straight year that Oklahoma is considering a 25 percent cut to provider rates. Oklahoma ultimately avoided painful cuts to provider rates and benefits last year, but a dire outlook for fiscal year 2018 is forcing the state to reconsider.
Oklahoma will consider eliminating or reducing benefits related to pharmacy, behavioral health treatment, dialysis, adult organ transplants, hospice services and private duty nursing services, among others.
Cutting provider reimbursement rates by 25 percent would put physician payment levels at 65 percent of Medicare rates, officials said. The reductions would affect all provider types, including hospitals, nursing facilities and pharmacy.
“While we don’t know our final appropriation, we must be prepared for a reduction," Oklahoma Medicaid agency CEO Becky Pasternik-Ikard said in a statement. "In order for us to meet our obligations to the federal government, we have to get the process started,”
Oklahoma, one of 19 mostly GOP-led states that has refused Medicaid expansion, last year briefly weighed joining the optional Obamacare program to help fill the state's budget hole.
To view online:
New DEA registration renewal policy creates new headaches for doctors
Effective Jan. 1, 2017, the DEA will eliminate the informal grace period for physicians to renew their registration - and doctors who miss their renewal deadline face daunting consequences:
Further, physicians will receive only one renewal notice to their "mail to" addresses.
Click here to read more about this policy change and the AMA's opposition.
Source: FMA News
Signature CEO Jan Vest to Retire; Schwartzkopf, Sackman Get Expanded Roles
ST. LOUIS, Jan. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Jan Vest, the longtime CEO and founding member of the Signature Medical Group Board of Directors, is retiring Dec. 31. In addition, two senior executives will be expanding their roles in the company immediately, Vest has announced.
Andrew Schwartzkopf, general counsel, will become chief administrative officer, handling many of Vest's duties, and Chad Sackman, senior vice president of operations, will be chief operating officer. Vest said the remaining executive team members will remain intact.
Vest said he is proud to be leaving Signature in a strong position among healthcare providers in the Midwest.
Congressional Action Alert
CMS Action on Global Payments
Missouri says Aetna-Humana merger is anticompetitive
Missouri insurance officials have issued a preliminary order against the merger between health insurance giants Aetna and Humana, the first state to find a problem with the massive transaction.
Source: Modern Healthcare
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