Sooner Select Stalled by Oklahoma Supreme Court

Posted By: Hayley Twyman Brack Clinical Practice,

For months, Oklahoma mental health care providers have been preparing for the implementation of the state’s planned managed care initiative, Sooner Select. Last week the proposed Medicaid system, which was set to take place starting October 1st of this year, was struck down by the Oklahoma Supreme Court after a series of legal challenges. For now, it appears as though the enactment of the Sooner Select program is suspended.

The managed care program was introduced last year in an attempt to privatize Oklahoma’s Medicaid system. Under the initiative, private insurance companies would be contracted and responsible for providing plans to insure Oklahomans who qualify for Medicaid. However, according to a ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the State Government and Oklahoma Healthcare Authority overstepped their authority by initiating Sooner Select.

By not incorporating the legislative branch of the Oklahoma government, the Supreme Court ruled that the Sooner Select program as it stands is invalid and implementation may not occur until the proposed changes are authorized through legislative decision. As of now, the Oklahoma Healthcare Authority’s website reports that the enactment date of Sooner Select is postponed until further notice. At this time, it is unclear if the legislature will have the chance to review and approve the managed care initiative before the previously announced implementation date of October 1st.