a division of The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

Here We Go Again

Posted by on Apr 12, 2016 in Advocacy, Blog | 1 comment

pabloRemember when the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) proposed cutting independent providers out of the Medicaid/SoonerCare business? MFT’s and LPC’s fought the measure and won.  Just two months ago Governor Fallin declared:

“These rules, if adopted, would have effectively barred independent licensed behavioral health practitioners from providing mental health services to children who are SoonerCare members.  There are no cost savings to be realized if thousands of children simply switch providers.  There are, however, the very real possibilities of delayed access and duplicative services having to be performed while practitioners become familiar with new clients. This also would have caused unnecessary trauma for foster children who may have to recount histories of physical and/or sexual abuse to new therapists, and try to establish trust in yet another adult authority figure.”

Now ODMHSAS has found a way to implement their proposal without actually terminating contracts.  They are proposing a rate cut that will effectively drive independent providers out of business.

All of the governor’s dire predictions will come true under the “new” proposals:

  • delayed access to mental health care
  • duplicative services having to be performed while practitioners become familiar with new clients
  • unnecessary trauma for foster children who may have to recount histories of physical and/or sexual abuse to new therapists
  • children trying to establish trust in yet another adult authority figure.

You can view the full rate reduction proposal here: Licensed Behavioral Health Professionals in Independent Practice.

In summary, the ODMHSAS is proposing to the OHCA:

  • Independent providers who are not psychologists accept 30% rate cut.
  • Psychologists take a 10% rate cut
  • Candidates who work for a certified agency will have a 10% rate cut.

We believe OHCA can realize the necessary savings with a more fair cut to all that does not devastate any one provider type or service type and keeps services for all consumers involved.  We believe a better approach to the current budget issues facing ODMHSAS and OHCA is to do an across the board cut of 5%. That will save approximately $22,000,000 in 2017. This would be more than is needed to balance their budget in FY2017.  OKAFMT, through our lobbyist and in cooperation with the Oklahoma Counseling Association (OCA) is recommending:

1) Smaller cuts for Psychologists, Licensure candidates, residential treatment facilities, ODMHSAS hospitals, etc. than what are currently proposed.
2) Larger, but manageable cut for Freestanding Psych Hospitals (3% was proposed), Case managers (have not taken a rate cut since the 2009 or 2007 cuts that went across the board for all OHCA providers of 3.75%?)
3) No longer needing to cut the daily and weekly amounts of IT and FT for agencies, which only resulted in a state savings of $1,182,459.
4) No longer needing to cut Tx Plan Update Limits to 2 per year, which was only going to save $5,000, (obviously not being over-utilized there)
5) No need for suggesting to cut Case Management services which are a very cheap, but highly effective service that supports Medicaid families. The growth in usage was definitely a result of the cuts in Rehab, but we fully support the increase in care that our kids/families need.
6) No need for cutting independent LBHPs from 8 sessions per month per member maximum down to 4 sessions max.

2_make-a-difference765x300We need your help! 

Below is our suggested Action Plan.

1. Attend the following meetings :

State Plan Amendment Rate Committee (SPARC) Meeting
April 25th, 2016 at 10:00a.m.
Ed McFall Boardroom
Oklahoma Health Care Authority
4345 N. Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105

Board Meeting
April 28th, 2016 at 1:00p.m.
Ed McFall Boardroom
Oklahoma Health Care Authority
4345 N. Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105

2. Comment on the proposed changes.  You can leave a comment on this page of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority’s (OHCA) website.

3. Contact the Governor and share with her your fear that ODMHSAS is simply repackaging a recommendation she has already determined will hurt Oklahomans.

The Office of Governor Mary Fallin
Oklahoma State Capitol
2300 N. Lincoln Blvd., Room 212
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Local: (405) 521-2342
Fax: (405) 521-3353

4. Contact your State Representative and State Senator regarding the rate change and rule changes.

5. Post on social media, call your newspaper, radio station and TV station and ask them to do a story on the negative consequences of this proposed change.

6. Write letters to the Board Members of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority:

Charles (Ed) McFall, Chairman
P.O. Box 13
Porum, Oklahoma 74455-0013

________________________________

Anthony (Tony) W. Armstrong, Vice Chairman
510 N. 57th Street West
Muskogee, Oklahoma 74401

________________________________

Ann Bryant, Member
301 North 17th Street
Enid, Oklahoma 73701

________________________________

Carol Robison, Member
110 W. Cooweescoowee
Oologah, Oklahoma 74053

________________________________

Tanya Case, Member
2900 Wild Oaks Drive
Duncan, OK 73533

________________________________

Marc Nuttle, Member
900 36th Avenue NW
Norman, OK 73072

________________________________

Melvin R. McVay, Jr., Member
101 North Robinson Ave.
Corporate Tower, 13th Floor
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102

 

With your help we can defeat this tired, recycled argument that is designed to balance their budget without regard to the negative impact on Oklahoma. The budget can be balanced in a way that doesn’t force independent providers out of business thereby forcing children and families to change therapists, start over, or give up and drop out of treatment.

 

One Comment

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  1. Garry

    Thanx For the Info..Appreciate it.

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