Board OKs reductions that will limit mental health care access
Thousands of low-income Oklahomans with mental illnesses and substance use disorders will have less access to the care they need, a result of cuts approved Thursday at a special state Medicaid board meeting.
The Oklahoma Health Care Authority board approved cuts Thursday that limit how much therapy Medicaid members can receive. The board also approved provider rate cuts to behavioral health professionals.
The cuts are the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services' attempt to balance the agency's budget amid the state budget crisis.
As a result of the two state revenue failures, the agency has cut almost $23 million from its budget over the past few months. Agency leaders do not know whether the state mental health department will see budget cuts for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, or how big those cuts would be.