Share “Reforms benefit patients, taxpayers”

Reforms benefit patients, taxpayers

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Modified: April 18, 2013 at 6:57 am •  Published: April 18, 2013
Advertisement

Government officials typically assume that spending can only increase, that greater efficiency isn’t possible and that efforts to cut spending will “harm the poor.” The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services has proved otherwise.

ODMHSAS was given oversight last year of Medicaid dollars designated for mental health and substance abuse treatment. This shift was a “massive” change, in the words of Director Terri White. Her agency has since reined in costs without harming those in need. For example, agency officials found that behavioral health rehabilitation services were being provided to children age 6 and younger. That raised red flags.

“The evidence says this is not a service kids that young can benefit from,” White told The Oklahoman’s editorial board this week. “It’s just not.” So the agency stopped paying for children to get the service and instead directed them to proven alternatives. As a result, the agency has saved nearly $8 million in state and federal money since last July. In the next fiscal year, that change is expected to save $18.7 million total, including $6.7 million in state funds. “It’s really cutting where the services don’t have an evidence base for them,” White said.

Continue reading this story on the...

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
+ show more


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Baylor DE Shawn Oakman suspended for opener against SMU
  2. 2
    You need to check out Japan's Street View for cats right meow
  3. 3
    Oklahoma officials investigating dog-skinning case
  4. 4
    Man charged with raping, beating ex-girlfriend is named Tulsa's Most Wanted fugitive
  5. 5
    Former caregiver for foster families arrested on child porn complaints
+ show more

FEATURED JOBS



× Trending opinion Article