Montana hospitals agree to pay fee to continue Medicaid expansion

Hospitals in Montana said they will pay a fee on outpatient revenue to continue funding the state's Medicaid expansion, according to The Charlotte Observer.  

Four things to know:

1. As Montana's portion of Medicaid expansion expenses is set to increase, officials with the Montana Hospital Association said Feb. 7 that hospitals agreed to pay a 0.95 percent fee on their outpatient revenue to help cover the difference.

2. Lawmakers proposed the fee, which would include payments on outpatient procedures and tests, but not physician or other healthcare professional charges, according to The Charlotte Observer. State- and county-owned hospitals would be exempt from the fee.

3. Bob Olsen, senior vice president for the MHA, told the publication the proposed fee will generate about $30 million over two years. Half of the funding is slated to help fund Medicaid expansion, while the remainder will be earmarked for increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates for providers.

4. Montana officials estimate that hospitals saw their uncompensated care costs drop by about $200 million after Medicaid expansion took effect. The program covered 95,000 adults as of Dec. 1.

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