Nearly two months after announcing it would terminate two Planned Parenthood contracts “without cause,” Oklahoma’s Medicaid agency has reversed its controversial decision.
The Associated Press reported late Thursday that the Oklahoma Health Care Authority — which administers the state’s Medicaid (or SoonerCare) program — will continue its contracts with the national women’s health providers for at least one more year.
Terminated Planned Parenthood contracts: Other Oklahoma providers had higher error rates by William W. Savage III
Previously, the agency had said contracts would be terminated after June 29.
“The agency’s decision was made after lengthy discussions with Planned Parenthood and significant input from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services,” OHCA attorney Nicole Nantois said in a statement to the AP.
The cancellation of the contracts had sparked outrage among many health care providers and activists, and it had come on the heels of an attempt by Gov. Mary Fallin to persuade the agency to terminate Planned Parenthood contracts for “high” billing error rates.
But an investigation by NonDoc showed that billing error rates for the state’s Planned Parenthood organizations were far lower than error rates at a handful of other provider offices. Further, those types of error rates were not comparable to the data OHCA has for hospital billing.
As a result, the OHCA made the unusual move of announcing the Planned Parenthood contracts’ termination “without cause.”
Planned Parenthood does not provide abortions at its two Oklahoma locations.
“Planned Parenthood of the Heartland (PPHeartland) and Planned Parenthood Great Plains (PPGP, formerly Planned Parenthood Central Oklahoma) are pleased that Oklahoma Health Care Authority has reconsidered its termination of Planned Parenthood from SoonerCare,” said Bonyen Lee-Gilmore, communications director for both of those organizations. “We have negotiated new contracts. We celebrate this outcome for the thousands of Medicaid patients who choose Planned Parenthood for their health care.
“Like all SoonerCare providers, the Planned Parenthood providers will continue to be monitored to ensure compliance with applicable law.”