HB 1566: Coordinated care for elderly and disabled Oklahomans
Author: Rep. Glen Mulready and Sen. Kim David
OPEA Position: OPEA strongly opposes the amendment and the bill
Status: House consideration of Senate amendments
The Senate amendments must be rejected so the bill can be discussed in conference committee. With this bill, as written, there are too many unknown variables that could harm seniors, persons with disabilities and their services.
If passed, HB1566 would require the state to develop a coordinated care/managed care program to serve seniors and adults with disabilities. Services could be provided through large insurance companies or HMOs and restrict access to services for this vulnerable population. As written, this would impact services to seniors, adults with physical disabilities and adults with intellectual disabilities (DDSD) who are now getting services at home. It would dissolve the current services delivery system. The amendment phases in nursing home care after two years.
Passage of this bill would have a fiscal impact in a year of revenue challenges. As the new program is implemented, existing staff will still be required continue to administer the existing ADvantage Program to serve persons not yet transferred to the new program. It is highly unlikely that a program serving a vulnerable population could be implemented immediately and dual systems would be needed. The administrative cost to operate dual systems would be assumed by DHS or the Health Care Authority.
- HB1566’s sweeping changes to services for elders and the disabled are too risky to approve. Passage would jeopardize services for frail elders and adults with disabilities by providing their care through a managed care organizations like HMOs. The bill’s language authorizes a new system with no indication of what the system would be but HB1566 is strongly supported by large insurance companies. Senior advocates oppose this bill.
- The amendment excludes nursing home patients are excluded for two years. If managed care is better, why not include them from the start?
- The bill radically changes care for seniors without knowing if similar programs in other states work. Other states’ programs have not existed long enough to know if they work.
- This change will cost taxpayers more in a challenging budget year. Other states have already had to ask for more money for their programs.
- Oklahoma tried to change to managed care for elders in the 1990s and it didn’t work. It is too risky for seniors to change to HMOs for long-term care.
HB 1566 puts frail elders’ care in the hands of large for-profit companies who may ration care.
The employees working in the program do so to serve Oklahoma seniors & disabled. They are not concerned with making a profit like big insurance companies are.
Please Vote To Reject The Senate Amendments
Contact Sterling Zearley, OPEA Executive Director