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317:30-3-92.Payment for lodging and meals

[Issued 09-01-19]
(a) Payment for lodging and/or meals assistance for an eligible member and an approved medical escort, if needed, is provided only when medically necessary in connection with transportation to and from SoonerCare compensable services. The member and any medical escort must make a reasonable effort to secure lodging at a hospital or non-profit organization. The Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) has discretion and final authority to approve or deny any lodging and/or meal services.

(1) Lodging and/or meals are reimbursable when prior authorized. Payment for lodging and/or meals is limited to a period of up to twenty-four (24) hours prior to the start of member's medical services and up to twenty-four (24) hours after the services end. Lodging is authorized for the member and one approved medical escort, if needed. The following factors may be considered by the OHCA when approving reimbursement for a member and any medical escort:

(A) Travel is to obtain specialty care; and

(B) The trip cannot be completed during SoonerRide operating hours; and/or

(C) The trip is one hundred (100) miles or more from the member's residence, as listed in the OHCA system, to the medical facility; and/or

(D) The member's medical treatment requires an overnight stay, or the condition of the member discourages traveling.

(2) When a member is not required to have a Primary Care Provider (PCP) or when a PCP referral is not required to obtain a SoonerCare covered service, a member may go to any provider they choose, but SoonerCare will not reimburse for transportation, lodging, or meals if the distance is beyond what is considered the nearest appropriate facility.

(3) Meals will be reimbursed if lodging criteria is met. Duration of the trip must be eighteen (18) hours or greater.

(4) Reimbursement for meals is based on a daily per diem and may be used for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or all three (3) meals, as required.

(5) During inpatient or outpatient medical stays, lodging and/or meals services are reimbursed for a period of up to fourteen (14) days without prior authorization; stays exceeding the fourteen (14) day period must be prior authorized. A member may not receive reimbursement for lodging and/or meals services for days the member is an inpatient in a hospital or medical facility.

(6) For eligible members in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), a minimum visitation of six (6) hours per day for the approved medical escort is required for reimbursement of lodging and/or meals services. Non-emergency transportation services for medically necessary visitation may be provided for eligible medical escorts.

(b) Lodging must be with a SoonerCare contracted Room and Board provider, when available, before direct reimbursement to a member and/or medical escort can be authorized. If lodging and/or meals assistance with contracted Room and Board providers are not available, the member and any medical escort may request reimbursement assistance by submitting the appropriate travel reimbursement forms. The travel reimbursement forms may be obtained by contacting SoonerCare Care Management division. Any lodging and/or meal expenses claimed on the travel reimbursement forms must be documented with the required receipts and medical records to document the lodging criteria have been met. Reimbursement must not exceed state per diem amounts. The OHCA has discretion and the final authority to approve or deny lodging and/or meals reimbursement.

(c) Payment for transportation and lodging and/or meals of one medical escort may be authorized if the service is required.

(d) If the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) removes a child from his/her home, a court must appoint a temporary guardian. During this time the temporary guardian is eligible for medical escort-related lodging and/or meals services. It is the responsibility of the OHCA to determine this necessity. The decision should be based on the following circumstances:

(1) When the individual's health or disability does not permit traveling alone; and

(2) When the individual seeking medical services is a minor child.

Disclaimer. The OHCA rules found on this Web site are unofficial. The official rules are published by the Oklahoma Secretary of State Office of Administrative Rules as Title 317 of the Oklahoma Administrative Code. To order an official copy of these rules, contact the Office of Administrative Rules at (405) 521-4911.