State Agency Sued over Medicaid

Monday, March 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Tulsa-AP) -- A group of patients and a doctor's organization say they'll sue the Oklahoma Health Care Authority. The suit is to be filed today in U-S District Court in Tulsa.

OHCA is the state agency that distributes federal money to Medicaid recipients. The planned lawsuit contends the agency violates federal law by establishing a fee scale for physicians that isn't meeting the market rate. It contends pediatricians are limiting or refusing to accept Medicaid patients.

The lawsuit doesn't ask for monetary damages, but calls for changes in the Medicaid system.

Among those suing is a woman who claims one doctor refused to operate on her daughter afer learning what he would be paid. The Oklahoma Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Community Action Project of Tulsa County are joining the suit.

OHCA Director Mike Fogarty says he's disappointed that pediatricians are planning a lawsuit when payments were increased by 18 percent last year. Fogarty says the group is choosing to attack the program rather than work with the agency.