News Release

January 13, 2011

OHCA Contact: Jo Kilgore, Public Information Manager, (405) 522-7474.

Oklahoma Boasts Lowest Error Rate In Federal Medicaid Audit

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s Medicaid program had the lowest error rate of 17 states reviewed this cycle by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) through the Payment Error Rate Measurement (PERM) initiative. Oklahoma’s error rate was 1.2 percent, compared to the national average error rate of 8.98 percent.

The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) administers SoonerCare (Oklahoma Medicaid). The agency strives to ensure SoonerCare members receive appropriate medical services from qualified health care providers. The low error rate means that Oklahoma is a national leader in ensuring that public funds are being spent appropriately in the program.

The PERM initiative is a comprehensive review of Medicaid services. The program began in 2002 as the PAM (Payment Accuracy Measurement), a demonstration project to measure the error rate in which Medicaid claims are paid. The name was changed to PERM on Oct. 1, 2005. The initiative also identifies inappropriate claims payments and looks for ways to correct the problems that result in these erroneous payments.

 “Oklahoma has volunteered to participate in the PERM program since it was created. Our agency has a commitment to accountability and transparency in the use of taxpayer dollars. We feel this process helps move us closer to these goals while providing feedback on our payment processes,” OHCA CEO Mike Fogarty said.

OHCA conducts an annual Payment Accuracy Review that mirrors the PERM program. The review has contributed to the state’s success as OHCA staff work continuously to ensure appropriate payments are made to SoonerCare providers.

“Our providers share a lot of the credit for this low error rate,” Fogarty noted. “Without them and their willingness to provide services to our members, we wouldn’t have a program, let alone a successful program.”