The Montana legislature was much more active in the 2017 legislative term than it had been in previous sessions. Three healthcare bills relating to healthcare costs and markets passed the legislature, but were all vetoed by the Governor. These bills aimed to provide tax incentives for high-deductible health insurance plans, provide out of state insurer options, and revise current healthcare coverage laws.
Montana was fairly active in healthcare reform in prior terms. The state passed a bill in 2011 to study the viability of implementing a state APCD. It directed the insurance commissioner to convene an advisory council to review the costs, benefits, and requirements necessary to maintain a statewide all-payer claims database (APCD) for healthcare. The council’s final report, published July 2011, recommends that the state study existing APCDs in other states to avoid the “pitfalls and challenges certain to emerge as the APCD is developed and expanded.” Additionally,in 2013, the legislature approved a bill to grant the commissioner of insurance rate-setting authority (a similar proposition failed in California). In addition, rural hospitals in Montana are increasingly consolidating, which has arguably been accelerated by the state’s election to reject Medicaid expansion.
The State Database
The Source tracks state activities impacting healthcare price and competition in both legislation and litigation in a searchable database to help stakeholders at the state level understand their legal and regulatory environment as they make efforts to improve access, quality, and efficiency, and reduce costs in healthcare. We currently cover bills from the 2017-2018 legislative term and key statutes from each state. Search the database for specific bills, statutes or cases by using keyword, key issue category, and/or jurisdiction.
LEGISLATIVE CALENDARMontana’s latest regular legislative session ended on April 28, 2017. The Legislature is currently in the interim period between legislative sessions as there is no regular 2018 legislative session.
- Montana was one of 16 states to file an amicus brief supporting the FTC’s winning position in the Ninth Circuit appeal of St. Luke’s Health Care Sys. v. FTC, No. 14-35173 (March 7, 2014), decided February 10, 2015. The States’ brief stated that the acceleration of health care costs due to the growth of large health care provider systems had become a matter of grave concern for the states.
- The Attorney General is conducting a review of the proposed sale of Community Medical Center (Missoula) to a joint venture consisting of Billings Clinic and Regional Care Hospital Partners (RCHP/Billings). Comments may be submitted here.