MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

August 23, 2013

Test program deserves opportunity

A $3.8 million pilot program to determine whether it is possible to lower health care costs for state employees and their families will be well worth the money if it works.

 The program by MedEncentive, set  to start Jan. 1, was authorized in the 2011 legislative session and will be open to some workers taking part in the HealthChoice program.

If the MedEncentive test cuts costs, its methods could be spread to all 125,000 state employees who use the HealthChoice plan.

“If it at least stagnates the cost, Oklahoma will be a big winner,” state Sen. Josh Brecheen, R-Atoka, told the Associated Press.  “Those dollars are needed to go into classes, bridges and prisons.”

The program helps patients have a better grasp of their conditions and are more likely to follow instructions to recover or stay healthy.

State government should try to cut health care costs.

Sometimes the best way to determine if a new plan will work is to give it a test run.

Lots of ideas sound good on paper. It’s those that can produce actual positive results that are the most valuable.

That’s why $3.8 million is a small price to pay to determine if this is the way to cut health care costs for state employees and their families.

State legislators will expand the program if it works or junk it and try again if it fails to produce lower costs.

It’s an innovative idea that deserves an opportunity to succeed.

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