EDMOND, Okla.– Edmond school district officials are scrambling to find a new provider after OU Medical Center Edmond cancelled their contract with the district to provide athletic trainers.
OU Medical has had the contract for more than 20 years.
They provide 3 trainers, one for each high school.
Hospital officials say budget constraints are forcing the cut.
“Hospitals in Oklahoma that accept Medicare and Medicaid are expecting a 25% reduction in Medicaid reimbursement this year and that’s just put us over the top where we’re having to make these difficult choices,” Leslie Buford with OU Medical Center Edmond said.
Edmond Athletic Director, Mike Nunley, says he found out about the cut 3 weeks ago.
“They help make sure our kids are safe. And to not have that piece of the puzzle is very frightening,” said Nunley.
He says the district is working on a contract with another provider to get trainers, but if there is a lapse in coverage, they have a plan in place.
“Our coaches are trained to take care of that. We can limit what we can do as far as contact and things like that,” Nunley said.
Parents say their kids have already been hit hard by the education budget cuts and they’re hoping these Medicaid cuts don’t put a damper on their athletics.
“It’s very concerning because sports are going on all throughout the year and things happen and the trainers are critical,” said Kari McNair, whose son is on the Edmond Memorial tennis team.
District officials say the school board will discuss the trainers issue at a special board meeting next Thursday – May 19th at 6:00 pm.