The Office of Management and Enterprise Services has determined which state agency is owed $55,000 in repayments from the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry: the OSU Medical Authority.
NonDoc reported last week that state administrators were attempting to determine the identity of an agency that had temporarily lost federal funding after the U.S. Treasury resolved a “billing dispute” with the Department of Agriculture in late 2017. Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese said his agency had repaid money to more than a half-dozen agencies affected by the treasury offset but was having difficulty identifying the final recipient, identified only as “Department 2563” and with a ZIP code in Tulsa.
“We have been able to locate the agency for the remaining offsets from October,” OMES director of public affairs Shelley Zumwalt said by email this morning. “The address provided on our information actually belongs to a bank lockbox. This lockbox is associated with the OSU Medical Authority, and we have verified with them that the remaining payments are theirs.”
The OSU Medical Authority and Trust “provides support for medical education, research and health care at OSU Center for Health Sciences and OSU Medical Center,” according to its website.
Those OSU health centers are currently embroiled in their own federal funding dispute that originated from the 2001 expiration of a waiver that allowed higher Medicaid payments for resident physicians. At the beginning of March, the Legislature passed $140 million in funding to address the problem for the end of this fiscal year and next fiscal year. That money was split between the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine and the OU College of Medicine.
Asked about the situation at the Department of Agriculture on Thursday, Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Schulz (R-Altus) said he was not entirely familiar with the details of the situation, but he offered advice to agency directors.
“Overall, it’s a reminder to us, it’s a reminder to state agencies, it’s a reminder to boards and commissions that we should always be looking and doing our job of making sure the people we entrust to do the work of the state are doing that,” Schulz said. “You don’t just get to be a rubber stamp, you continue to look and make sure oversight happens.”
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture owes money to unknown entity by William W. Savage III