State Rep. Joe Dorman announced Monday that he will be conducting three interim studies examining health care issues.
“Two of the three studies are focused on health care issues affecting seniors, while one will look at online access to medical records,” Dorman said. “I have been reviewing these issues over the past several months and am pleased that I will be able to conduct in-depth studies of each. My hope is to come up with first rate legislation to address each issue in the upcoming session.”
Expanding the Advantage Plus program is the subject of the first study, Dorman said.
“We will be using this study to look for ways to help more seniors qualify for the program,” Dorman said. “Many Oklahomans are disqualified due to a savings account or some form of nominal income, but still fall well below the financial means they need for survival. I requested the study because I was contacted by a constituent who draws a monthly check for about $50 from outside resources, which makes her ineligible. It’s obvious that the current qualification guidelines are arbitrary and impractical.”
Dorman’s second study will focus on emergency generators and plans in assisted living facilities.
“After the ice storms earlier this year, emergency preparedness is a must for protecting aging Oklahomans who require daily or weekly assistance,” Dorman said. “We are going to figure out where we stand currently and then analyze potential resources to assist with the purchase of generators for those facilities that don’t have them.”
A third study will examine online access to medical records in an attempt to reduce patient costs and duplication of services.
“I want to find a way to allow individuals to select an option to have their medical records placed online and made accessible through a card to show health care providers what medical tests have been conducted,” Dorman said.
“This was requested by a doctor as a way to reduce the amount of time spent on the phone with insurance companies to see which procedures will be covered by a patient’s insurance.”
Dorman said states must resolve local health care problems.
“With the concerns we see out of the federal health care program, now more than ever, states need to be ready to resolve potential problems and have the best system in place for Oklahomans,” Dorman said.