Oklahoma State Medical Association to File a Motion for Injunction Against Oklahoma’s Medicaid Managed Care Scheme

Oklahoma City (Feb. 6, 2021) -- The Oklahoma State Medical Association (OSMA) today announced its intent to file a motion next week asking the Oklahoma Supreme Court to issue an injunction against Medicaid managed care contracts moving forward. The move was supported by a unanimous vote of the OSMA Board of Trustees. 

“While we certainly have strong feelings about outsourcing the state Medicaid program to for-profit companies, this is about process,” said Pete Aran, M.D., chair of the OSMA board of trustees. “The fact remains that Oklahoma’s legislature has not passed the appropriate legislation or funding to move managed care forward. We believe it is premature to move ahead with these contracts until the legislative process is completed.”

On January 26, the Oklahoma Health Authority (OHCA) Board voted to proceed with the managed care RFP process despite numerous questions about their legal authority and the lack of legislative approval. Days later, OHCA announced the selection of four companies for the Medicaid contracts. While OSMA has strong opposition to outsourcing Medicaid to private vendors, today’s action is solely about the process and the need to be good stewards of state dollars. 

“Every state taxpayer should be concerned,” said George Monks, M.D., president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association. “Do we want to allow unelected agency boards and commissions to potentially put the state on the hook for billions of dollars in future spending without discussion and approval by the legislators who must ultimately approve the funding? We are simply asking the Court to put the process on hold until the legislature can decide if this is a proper path forward.”

“As a rural physician, I find this especially concerning as it will affect rural patients disproportionally,” said Woody Jenkins, M.D., co-chair of the OSMA Rural Section. “We all want state agencies to run more efficiently, but to date, we’ve yet to hear a good explanation how removing billions of dollars from the Health Care Authority and sending it to largely out-of-state private companies can achieve this goal. Additionally, while the OHCA runs at less than 5 percent administrative overhead, managed care companies in other states demand 15 percent or more administrative costs. We just want a chance to have this discussion with our state legislators before committing to this risky scheme.”