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FOR RELEASE: August 30, 2001
CONTACT: Dick Gunn
405/271-5601

Department of Health to Distribute Trauma Fund

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) will distribute the proceeds of the first year of the Trauma Fund in the next few weeks to qualifying hospitals and ambulance services that requested reimbursement for uncompensated trauma care.

The revolving fund was established in 1999 by Senate Bill 290 to assist facilities in the provision of trauma care and to support the development of a trauma system in Oklahoma. Revenues for the fund come from fee increases in drivers' license and boat registration fees authorized in the legislation. The resulting fees establish a fund of approximately $2.2 million per year.

The formula to distribute the fund was established by administrative rules approved by the State Board of Health, legislature and governor. The Oklahoma State Trauma Advisory Council, Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council, Oklahoma State Medical Association, Oklahoma Osteopathic Association, and Oklahoma Hospital Association assisted the OSDH in drafting the rules.

Licensed Oklahoma hospitals and ambulance services apply for reimbursement by submitting cases that meet the acuity criteria. Medicare cost reports and ambulance fees are used to establish reimbursable cost on allowable claims. The fund is then disbursed on a pro-rata share basis.

In the first year, 35 hospitals and 41 ambulance services applied for reimbursement with $8,851,515.25 in allowable charges submitted. This resulted in $0.239 per dollar reimbursement for uncompensated trauma care.

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