Issues Impacting Oklahoma Doctors

“Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

Lawsuit Reform, Insurance Intrusion, Government Interference, Health Information Exchange, Scope of Practice Expansion, Women’s Health, Mental Health…and the list goes on! There are numerous legislative challenges facing physicians today, which is why it is essential to be involved and engaged in the legislative session. As your advocates at the State Capitol, the Oklahoma State Medical Association (OSMA) works to actively advocate for the physician profession and keep you informed about issues impacting your patients and your practice.

Areas of concern:

  • Legal Reform: Restore non-economic damage limits and pursue “certificate of merit” requirements providing greater protections for physicians from unnecessary and frivolous litigation. Promote access to care by providing physicians with a stable and lower-cost medical liability system.

  • Scope of Practice: Defend against any legislation that would expand the scopes of practice for non-physician providers without the approval of the Oklahoma Patients’ Coalition. Support efforts to ensure that allopathic and osteopathic physicians are appropriately referenced in any legislation dealing with medical diagnosis and procedures. Oppose any legislation that could jeopardize patient safety.

  • Physician Practice: Oppose legislation that would either require or prohibit specific courses of treatment or otherwise override a physician’s medical judgment. Oppose efforts to interfere in the physician/patient relationship. Oppose efforts by nonphysicians to dictate or influence medical school curricula or continuing medical education requirements. Support efforts to decrease administrative burdens on physician offices.

  • Reimbursement: Maintain adequate physician reimbursement through Oklahoma’s new Medicaid Managed Care administrative system and support legislative/insurance reforms that will help maintain those levels. Promote access to care through other initiatives and incentives for physicians to see Medicaid patients and to serve in rural & underserved communities.

  • Insurance Reform: Promote legislation enhancing physician “pre-authorization” for services provided in a hospital setting. Also support cost transparency associated with health care.

  • Public Health: In the case of enhanced exposure to any pandemic (coronavirus or other variants), support public health initiatives such as mask-wearing, social distancing and hand cleansing while also promoting anti-tobacco, anti-obesity and other initiatives to improve the public health in Oklahoma.

  • Government Oversight: Return board oversight to the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.

Additional Resources:

For more information on state legislative issues contact Matt Robison.

Legislative Updates

Tell Congress Fix Medicare Now!

Posted on 6/13/2023
Physicians are the only Medicare providers whose payments do not automatically receive an annual inflationary update. As a result, Medicare physician payments have lagged 26% behind the rate of inflation growth since 2001.

Weekly Legislative Update: May 31, 2023

Posted on 6/1/2023
In the waning hours of the 2023 Legislative Session, SB32X (Thompson/Wallace) was passed. This measure provides $30M in state appropriations to pay for the initial connection fees associated with the statewide Health Information Exchange (HIE).

Weekly Legislative Update: May 22, 2023

Posted on 5/22/2023
The legislature has called a concurrent special session which started meeting last Wednesday. It will allow lawmakers to finalize this year's budget and meet after when the current session was scheduled to adjourn on May 26 if necessary.

Weekly Legislative Update: May 15, 2023

Posted on 5/15/2023
The Health Information Exchange (HIE) continues to be a major and controversial issue for health care professionals across the state. Data privacy is of utmost importance to the patient and physician and must be maintained.

Weekly Legislative Update: May 1, 2023

Posted on 5/1/2023
(Members Only) OSMA continues to be the major player when negotiating and affecting measures important to the physician profession.

Weekly Legislative Update: April 24, 2023

Posted on 4/26/2023
(Members Only) OSMA continues to be a major player when negotiating measures affecting the physician profession. These negotiations remain a priority. Measures have until Thursday, April 27 to be considered on the opposite chamber’s floor.