Affordable Care Act

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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