MTPR

Ed Buttrey

Todd Lovshin, VP/MT Regional Director, PacificSource, Scott Malloy, Senior Program Officer, Montana Healthcare Foundation, Dr. Monica Berner, Pres., BCBS Montana, Pam Palagi, V.P.of Finance, St. James Healthcare, Butte, testifying Jan. 17, 2017.
Eric Whitney

A legislative committee on health care prices seems split on whether giving consumers more information about health care prices will make much difference.

Last year Montana's Legislature set up a committee to study transparency in health care pricing, concerned that consumers don't have enough information about what health care procedures cost to shop for the best deals. And that means there's little incentive for providers to offer low prices.

Great Falls State Senator Ed Buttrey.
Corin Cates-Carney

A proposal to temporarily charge a fee for state management of Montana's workers' compensation fund drew strong opposition as lawmakers began a special session to address a $227 million budget shortfall.

The 3 percent management fee on Montana State Fund assets above $1 billion would raise an estimated $30 million.

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State lawmakers want to know more about why the cost of health care keeps rising, and make it easier for Montanans to know the prices for health care procedures up front. The state Legislature says that’s a top priority ahead of the next legislative session.

A group lawmakers, healthcare and insurance representatives charged with studying health care costs and price transparency met for the first time at the capitol Tuesday.

This map shows spending on health care services via Medicaid expansion by county since January, 2016
Montana DPHHS

A new report says that Medicaid expansion has saved Montana more than $30 million in its first 18 months.

"Medicaid expansion continues to be a stunning success for Montana," said Shiela Hogan, director of Montana's Department of Health and Human Services. "There's no denying this."

Montana Republican Party buttons
Flickr user, llP Photo Archive (CC-by-2.0)

Montana’s Republican party meets Friday and Saturday to select new leadership. It’s trying to expand on big gains it made in 2016 and this year, and rebound from recent damage to its public image.

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