Montana Medicaid Providers — Seriously Underpaid


Many healthcare providers in Montana — and in other states as well —serve a lot of people on Medicaid. In Montana those providers are seriously underpaid by the state for those services.


A report from the American Hospital Association (AHA) in 2020 found hospitals in the country horribly underpaid for services. On average, hospitals received just 84-cents for every dollar spent on Medicare services and 88-cents for Medicaid services.

Medicaid works this way. The federal government matches every dollar the state spends for Medicaid services. Depending on the service, it’s more or less an equal match.

That leaves no doubt that providers in states other than Montana are also being underpaid. These days, many providers refuse to take Medicaid or Medicare patients because of the low pay.

In Montana Governor Greg Gianforte and the Montana Legislature are looking to set things straight and fix the problem. They started with a study to determine just how underpaid providers are for services to senior citizens living in assisted-living facilities, the disabled community and children and adults suffering from mental illness and addiction.

The 186-page report found Montana providers are paid 22% less than the benchmark standards for the care provided. That’s the average. Some providers are paid even less.

To get on an even keel, Montana and the federal government will have to put an additional $82 million a year into the system. It would cost Montana — roughly — $28 million a year.

Patrick Maddison is the CEO of Flathead Industries and board president of the Montana Association of Community Disability Services (MACDS). He said the study will now give the governor and the Legislature the ammunition it needs to fix the problem.

What the rate study really shows is how underfunded our system has been for over a decade,” Maddison said. Im very hopeful that the intent was really how to fix the problem and how to not kick the can down the road. Because I think this administration has inherited the can thats been kicked down the road for a very long time.”

Source link: Montana Free Press —

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