Following several hours of meetings with Medicaid officials and policy experts, Senator Tom Adelson announced that he has discovered $540 Million in Medicaid savings over three years.
“It’s really quite simple,” said Adelson, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Sub-Committee on Health and Social Services. “All I did was take a sentence or two from a previously published Oklahoma Healthcare Authority Report and claim it as my own.
“Rather than wasting taxpayer money traveling the state and virtually ignoring all the good advice out there, I decided in favor of an accounting gimmick instead.”
Noting that the Authority had established a goal of 97 percent accuracy rate for the payment of claims in its Strategic Plan, Adelson calculates that reducing the error rate of 9.58 percent of total claims paid to 3 percent immediately yields a savings of $186 million ($58.4 million state). OHCA Strategic Plan, pp 137-138 (2006).
The Authority established these goals at their annual board retreat last summer. Over three years, the savings exceed $540 million.
“I am especially delighted to announce that the Authority believes it can achieve greater than 97 percent accuracy for 2006, 2007 and 2008,” Adelson said. Id. at p. 137.
Unfortunately, Speaker Hiett apparently feels it will be too difficult for the Authority to meet its internal goal. He has only asked that the Authority achieve an accuracy rate of 94 percent by 2009.
"I am not sure what Speaker Hiett is up to. HB 1088, which he coauthored, calls for $100 million in savings. Yet, the Speaker is actually costing the Medicaid program hundreds of millions of dollars by budgeting for a much higher payment inaccuracy rate.
“And, I find it strange that the Speaker’s ‘savings’ do not take place until after he terms out of the House of Representatives and his race to become the Lt. Governor is over.
“Perhaps if he wins that race, he will take over
Mary Fallin’s role hosting turkey hunts. If the Medicaid recipients
cannot have their medicine three years from now, the least he could do,
in the somewhat embellished words of Marie Antoinette, is ‘let them