Medicaid policy change could help heart patients

Wednesday, October 11th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Tulsa-AP) -- A new policy now allows adult heart transplants to be paid for by Oklahoma's Medicaid program.

But one doctor says that won't solve the larger problem.

Federal law requires every state Medicaid program to pay for transplants for patients younger than 21. The law gives each state the right to choose which kind of operations to fund for patients over that age.

Oklahoma was one of nine states to deny funding for adult heart transplants until the policy change. The state Health Care Authority voted last week to add heart transplants to Medicaid's coverage.

Governor Keating signed the policy into effect the next day.