Montana Health Providers Warn Cuts Would be Disastrous

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services plans to reduce the rate paid to the state's Medicaid provider

By Associated Press
The Montana State Capitol in Helena. Beacon file photo

HELENA – Health providers say proposed Montana Medicaid cuts would force nursing homes to turn away patients, lead to jail time for more people with mental illnesses and force workers who care for the disabled out of their jobs.

Health industry representatives lined up Thursday in a public hearing to protest the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services’ plan to reduce the rate paid to the state’s Medicaid providers by nearly 3 ½ percent.

The department is under significant pressure after state lawmakers reduced its budget earlier this year and a revenue shortfall triggered more budget cuts starting next month.

Lee Newspapers of Montana reports a legislative committee that oversees the health department has filed an objection to the proposed cuts. That means the department can’t adopt the changes until after the committee meets in September.

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