News Release

July 12, 2011

OHCA Contacts: Jo Kilgore - (405) 522-7474, Carter Kimble - (405) 522-7510

Cherokee Nation Health Service First Tribal Provider to Receive Oklahoma Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Payment

TAHLEQUAH – On July 11, Dr. Gregory Woitte of Cherokee Nation Health Services received $21,250 in federal funds to help offset the costs of adopting an electronic health record system as part of the Oklahoma State Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) incentive program, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA) announced.

Dr. Gregory Woitte and the Cherokee Nation Health Services are part of the first Tribal Health Program to receive incentive payments in the nation. Representatives from OHCA, the state agency that administers SoonerCare and the incentive program, will be attended an acknowledgement ceremony hosted by the WW Hastings Hospital to recognize the occasion.

“This great accomplishment, another ‘first’ in the nation, is the product of a strong partnership between the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the Cherokee Nation,” said Mike Fogarty, CEO of OHCA. “We are unique as a state in the working relationships we have with tribal governments and this is a good example of the benefits resulting from those relationships. The programs managed by tribal governments and by OHCA and all Oklahomans who rely on them are well served by our work together.”

To qualify for incentive payments, doctors and hospitals must have a specified percentage of SoonerCare members and needy patients and demonstrate they have adopted, implemented or upgraded to a certified EHR system that improves quality, safety and effectiveness of care.  

Medicaid eligible professionals who qualify and participate in the program for six years may receive $63,750 to help offset expenses associated with implementing and using electronic records. 

EHRs bring all health information for a patient together and make it available electronically for any provider treating the patient. EHRs reduce costs through reduced paperwork for the provider. Electronic records also ensure privacy and security for patients.

The Cherokee Nation is one of 39 federally recognized tribal governments in Oklahoma. More than 108,000 American Indians were part of the SoonerCare program in May 2011. According to 2009 Census estimates, about 25 percent of American Indians in Oklahoma receive services from an OHCA program.

For more information about the Oklahoma Medicaid EHR incentive program, please visit www.okhca.org/ehr-incentive or follow us on social media at www.okhca.org/socialmedia.

First EHR Incentive Payment July 2011- Hastings_low_res

ANOTHER FIRST

During the first week of July, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority got to celebrate another first. This time they were celebrating with the Cherokee Nation as Dr. Gregory Woitte, MD became the first tribal provider to receive an EHR incentive payment in the nation.

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