Affordable Care Act

On this edition of StudioTulsa Medical Monday, we run a status check, so to speak, on the Affordable Care Act, both here in our state and nationwide. The ACA, or "Obamacare," which became law in 2010 -- and which really started to take effect in 2014 -- will hold its fourth cycle of "open enrollment" in November. "Open enrollment" is when participants think about renewing their health insurance, making changes to their coverage, and/or buying such coverage for the first time.

Yesterday at the State Capitol, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin offered her recommendations to the State Legislature on how to fill next year's estimated $1.3 billion budget deficit. Her "Budget 2.0" provides for exempting Common Education, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, and Mental Health Services from cuts -- while also exempting cuts in other areas, including higher education -- and offers significant revenue enhancements to the budget as well.

On this edition of ST, we are joined by Craig Jones, who is President of the Oklahoma Hospital Association. Given the recent cuts in both Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, large cuts in federal reimbursement costs for uninsured patients, as well as ongoing transformations in standards of care, medical technology, and qualitative outcomes, times are tough these days for hospitals, especially rural hospitals. Nationwide, 673 rural hospitals are considered "on the edge" -- and here in Oklahoma, it's estimated that more than three dozen rural hospitals are facing a troubled future.

On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, we learn about a non-profit called WellOK, which was formed in 2014, and which bills itself as "the Northeastern Oklahoma Business Coalition on Health." It's a coalition of 17 locally based organizations, including businesses large and small that purchase healthcare as well as government and philanthropic organizations.

On this edition of ST, an interesting exit interview with John W. Silva; the CEO of Morton Comprehensive Health Services here in Tulsa will leave this post next month to assume a similar job in his native Massachusetts. Silva has been at the helm of Morton since 2010. Under his leadership, it has expanded from its North Tulsa headquarters to additional locations in Bartlesville and west Tulsa and has moreover become Oklahoma's only community health center-based teaching facility.

(Note: This show originally aired back in April.) On this edition of ST on Health, we speak with Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, a professor at Dartmouth Medical School and nationally recognized expert on the effects of medical testing. His past books include the widely acclaimed "Overdiagnosed." Dr.

By all accounts, the recently-ended U.S. Supreme Court term has been an historic one. With major rulings concerning same-sex marriage, health care subsidies, lethal injection, religious symbols and free speech, social media and free speech, political redistricting, religious freedom in prison, and several other areas, the high court has put forth decisions in recent days and weeks that will undoubtedly influence American life in countless ways.

On this installment of StudioTulsa on Health, guest host John Schumann speaks with Linda Johnston, the Director of Social Services for Tulsa County. Last month, Johnston spoke briefly with Steve Innskeep of NPR's Morning Edition about the County's Drug Recycling Program, which began in 2004.

On this episode of StudioTulsa on Health, guest host Dr. John Schumann speaks with reporter April Dembosky, who covers health care issues and medical news for public-radio station KQED in San Francisco (and also for NPR, on occasion). Dembosky recently participated in a segment on NPR's Weekend All Things Considered that carried the headline "Calif.

At the end of 2014, a surprising announcement appeared in the Tulsa World. A subsequent news item expanding on this announcement had the following headline: "Morton Clinics Won't Accept New Uninsured Patients, Citing State Cuts to Funding." Morton Comprehensive Health Services -- with clinics in Tulsa, Nowata, and Bartlesville -- is one of Northeastern Oklahoma's leading providers of health care for uninsured patients.

On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, we speak with reporter Laura Ungar of USA TODAY, who's the co-author of an excellent and far-reaching series of articles -- entitled "Rural Hospitals in Critical Condition," and decidedly multi-media in both its execution and presentation -- that have appeared recently in the online and print versions of that newspaper.

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On this National Rural Health Care Day, people are being urged to take a look at what specific benefits the Affordable Care Act offers rural areas. U-S Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, in an interview with KWGS, said there are initiatives created by the Act to specifically address critical needs in rural communities.

Vilsack says his Department is awarding grants to remote areas, including in Oklahoma, where it is difficult to deliver health care services.

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma and five other states have filed legal papers with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of their challenge against the Affordable Care Act.

Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, Nebraska, South Carolina and West Virginia are challenging billions of dollars in Internal Revenue Service subsidies being handed out as part of the implementation of the law. The case is scheduled for argument in March.

On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, guest host John Schumann speaks with Dr. Donald Berwick, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. A pediatrician by background, Dr. Berwick is also a former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and he has served on the faculties of the Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as the staffs of Boston's Children's Hospital Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Brigham and Women's Hospital.

On this edition of ST on Health, guest host John Schumann speaks with Tracy Davenport, a self-described "health care coordinator" --- basically, this means she's a freelance case manager who works to help patients and/or their families navigate today's ever-more-complicated medical system. It's often about being a good listener and asking lots of questions, says Davenport, who's had many years of experience as a registered nurse.

Everyone knows, as even President Obama himself has recently admitted, that the arrival of the Affordable Care Act has been, frankly, a disaster. So far, anyway. But what happens next? And more precisely, what happens next in our neck of the woods?

On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, guest host John Henning Schumann speaks Dr. Suzanne Koven, who practices internal medicine Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and who also writes the "In Practice" column for The Boston Globe. Earlier this month, Dr.

On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, guest host John Henning Schumann speaks with Dr. Jack Sommers, chief medical officer for CommunityCare, the Tulsa-based medical insurance firm that's owned and operated by Saint Francis Hospital and St. John Medical Center. (This company began as CommunityCare HMO in 1993; you can read a full history for CommunityCare here.) In an interesting and wide-ranging discussion, Dr.

"The big problem I see in the practice of medicine today is [that] our payment scheme makes it where we violate the first rule of medicine, which is: Listen to your patient and they'll tell you what's wrong. And we don't allow anybody the time to do that anymore." So says our guest on this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, a Republican who's been the junior senator from Oklahoma since January of 2005.

On this edition of ST on Health, guest host John Schumann presents an interesting conversation with the Augusta, Georgia-based physician, Dr. Rob Lamberts, who writes a popular medical blog called "Musings of a Distractible Mind" --- and who's also an expert on (and, indeed, a practitioner of) the so-called Direct Care method of health care. As Dr. Lamberts explains on his personal website, he left his longtime group practice in September of 2012 in order to "build a new solo practice, Dr. Rob Lamberts, LLC.

(Please note: This program originally aired earlier this year.) Our guest on ST is Dr. Victoria Sweet, an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and a prize-winning historian. Dr. Sweet practiced medicine for twenty years at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco --- and she's just published a book about this remarkable facility, and about her time there, and, indeed, about the state of health care in America today.

Our guest on ST is Dr. Victoria Sweet, an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and a prize-winning historian. Dr. Sweet practiced medicine for twenty years at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco --- and she's just published a book about this remarkable facility, and about her time there, and, indeed, about the state of health care in America today. This new book, just out from Riverhead Trade, is called "God's Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine." As we read of this book (and of this place) at Dr.

Do you know how much was spent on health care in the U.S. in 2012? Would you believe $2.7 trillion? Today, more than ever, politicians, policy makers, pundits, and health care professionals are focused on the contradictory yet equally crucial aims of improving health care delivery and reducing the costs of that delivery. One individual focused in this way is Tom Adelson, the former State Senator for the 33rd District of Oklahoma, who now works in the private sector. Today, Dr. John Henning Schumann, our guest host, welcomes Adelson to the program.

The decision last month by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Car Act (or ACA) has opened up new avenues of opposition --- or, as some states would have it, new grounds on which to reject the law. In its momentous decision, the Court said basically that any state could opt out of the law's expansion of Medicaid with no penalties to its existing programs. Under the ACA, the federal government will help states expand their coverage of Medicaid patients to 133% of the poverty line.