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Government Approves Waiver for Okla. Hospital Fee (Jan 18, 2012)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The federal government has approved Oklahoma's plan to implement a provider fee to maintain reimbursement rates for hospitals that provide Medicaid services.

Legislation adopted last year allows for a 2.5 percent fee to be assessed on certain Oklahoma hospitals. That revenue is matched by the government and used primarily to maintain hospital reimbursement from the state's Medicaid program, called SoonerCare.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority, which administers Medicaid in the state, says the new fee will raise an additional $340 million for hospital payments. The legislation terminates the fee on Dec. 31, 2014.

The law was signed by Gov. Mary Fallin after lawmakers passed it by a super majority. Forty-six states have some sort of provider fee to leverage federal funding to keep reimbursement rates up and Medicaid programs funded.

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