Continuing the Medicaid Expansion program, enhancing traditional Medicaid, and increasing provider rates are top priorities for Montana hospitals and healthcare providers.
With the exception of Medicare (federally-funded and administered health coverage for seniors), Medicaid (state-administered health coverage for low-income Montanans, paid for through a combination of federal and state funds) is the largest health insurer in the state. Medicaid is largest state-funded program for healthcare providers. Medicaid patients represent a large share of the populations served by hospitals and healthcare providers. As a result, Medicaid represents the largest source of revenue for many providers.
The financial viability of Montana hospitals and healthcare providers is greatly impacted by the Medicaid program.
Priority issues and opportunities include:
- Continuation of the Medicaid expansion program
- Full funding of the current Medicaid program to avoid service or payment reductions
- Provider rate increases (rates are currently less than 50% of the cost of care)
- Preserve the Hospital Utilization Fee (HUF) Program on inpatient and outpatient services in order to generate the State’s match funds for Medicaid expansion and ensure fair distribution of supplemental funds to hospitals for services delivered
- Full funding of senior and post-acute care services costs
- EMS reimbursement equal to Medicare rates to protect viability of statewide emergency services
- Continuation of State programs supporting the physical, mental and social well-being of Montana residents
- Continuation of health professions education and physician residency programs
- Alternative revenue opportunities for the state, as appropriate, in order to relieve pressure on the general fund