Health Care Reform


There are more than 630-thousand Oklahomans without medical insurance coverage. It impacts those that do have insurance, and the issue is a major topic discussed at a health care forum in Tulsa today. President of the Oklahoma Hospital Association, Craig Jones, says in 2013 hospitals in the state gave over $550-million in care to those without insurance. He says that cost has to be shifted, so it’s borne by those with insurance and companies that privately insure their employees.

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, 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.

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.

On this installment of StudioTulsa on Health, our guest host, Dr. John Henning Schumann, chats with John Silva, CEO of Morton Comprehensive Health Services, a non-profit organization which dates back to 1921 --- it first came into being as Maurice Willows Hospital, when it was created by the American Red Cross in the immediate wake of the Tulsa Race Riot --- and which is now one of Oklahoma's largest community health centers.

File photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma Board of Health member has resigned — saying he did so because of Governor Mary Fallin's decision not to accept federal funding to expand the state's Medicaid program.

Glenn Davis told the Tulsa World on Friday that it "doesn't make any sense" that Fallin would reject the funding. He says the money would help Oklahomans who have no insurance.

State of Oklahoma-File Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Governor Mary Fallin is delaying a decision on whether the state will set up its own health insurance exchange or allow a federal model to be established in Oklahoma.

Fallin's office announced Friday the Republican governor decided to delay her decision after the federal government extended the deadline for states to provide notice if they plan to set up an exchange, which is an online health insurance marketplace where people can shop for coverage.

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.