State measures prompt dentists to stop taking SoonerCare | News

Several local dentists have stopped accepting SoonerCare in the wake of Gov. Kevin Stitt’s signing of two reform bills.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the state agency that oversees SoonerCare, announced it will change to a new health care model following the signing of SB 1337 and SB 1396.

“The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) shall enter into capitated contracts with contracted entities for the delivery of Medicaid services as specified in this act to transform the delivery system of the state Medicaid program for the Medicaid populations listed in this section,” the SB 1337 states.

Oklahoma-based companies will manage care for Medicaid program instead of contracting with out-of-state insurance companies.

“Unless expressly authorized by the Legislature, the [OHCA] shall not issue any request for proposals or enter into any contract to transform the delivery system for the aged, blind, and disabled populations eligible for SoonerCare,” the bill reads.

Medicaid is the public health insurance program that pays for low-income pregnant women, children, and those who are elderly or have a disability. The state/federal program covers a variety of health series and limits out-of-pocket costs. SoonerCare is the name given to Oklahoma’s Medicaid program.

According to SB 1337, OHCA shall issue a request for proposals to enter into partnerships with contracted entities other than dental benefit manager to cover all services other than dental services for pregnant women, children, parents and caretaker relatives, and the expansion population.

The implementation of the program should be no later than Oct. 1, 2023.

The OHCA announced in December 2021 that SoonerCare expanded dental coverage for adults. Those who already have SoonerCare Medical do not have to reapply to take advantage of the dental benefits.

As of December 2021, there were 620,420 children enrolled for SoonerCare and close to 25 percent of Oklahomans use healthcare services through the program.

According to the OHCA Provider Directory, 19 local dentists are accepting SoonerCare; Robert P. Webb of Family Dentistry; Dr. Errol J. Allison, DDS; Dr. John A. Grassland Dental Care; and Dr. Scott Stringer, Dr. Jane M. Speed, Dr. Joshua C. Looney, Dr. Robert S. Jones, Dr. Emily W. Ikahihifo, Dr. Henri J. Casey, Dr. Sam B. Campbell and Dr. Thomas C. Been – all at Cherokee Nation.

Downtown Family Dentistry is not longer taking SoonerCare as of Jan. 1.

“We are no longer a SoonerCare provider and the reason we’re not a SoonerCare provider is because we do not have the means of keeping up with the demand of what they want. That is the true part of it,” said Tiffany Rott, officer manager.

Premiere Dentistry isn’t accepting new SoonerCare patients.

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