Documents released Friday by the Oklahoma State Department of Health detail a number of alleged deceptions, including fraudulent budget reports to finance officials and omissions in reporting the agency’s financial position to the Legislature and the State Board of Health.
The cash crisis at the Oklahoma State Department of Health, which was years in the making, raises questions about which agencies and state officials could have caught the agency’s reported financial mismanagement.
Hours after a grand jury met to look into allegations of financial mismanagement at the Oklahoma State Department of Health, lawmakers sent subpoenas to three of the state’s top budget officials. Meanwhile, the exodus of leadership at the Health Department continues in the wake of the agency’s sudden cash crunch.
The state Health Department is scrambling to cover an unexpected $10 million shortfall that emerged over the summer. Along with employee furloughs, layoffs and contract cuts, the agency sought payments from county-city health departments, which refused to pay.
Thousands of Oklahomans suffer from hearing loss and can’t afford hearing aids that would improve their quality of life. Medicare and SoonerCare, the state’s Medicaid program, offer limited or no coverage.
Oklahomans who buy health insurance on the federal exchange will see higher premiums again next year. And President Donald Trump’s recent actions could increase costs and reduce coverage options in years to come.