The Montana House of Representatives passed HB 237, MDA’s bill to reform the Medicaid audit process, just a day before the deadline to send it to the Senate. HB 237 was approved 97-3 on February 26. MDA did not fare as successfully with two proposals to increase dental Medicaid reimbursement. The Joint Appropriations Committee on Health and Human Services voted down MDA’s proposal to increase rates for preventive services. HB 238, MDA’s bill to increase rates by the percentage increase in the CPI for healthcare services, was tabled in the House Human Services Committee.
HB 237, sponsored by Rep. Albert Olszewski (R- Kalispell), an orthopedic surgeon, will create fair and reasonable standards for Medicaid overpayment audits of providers, including healthcare facilities, clinics, small medical and dental practices and other health care providers. It was amended by the Human Services Committee to address some objections from the Department of Health and Human Services. DPHHS continues to oppose the bill.
MDA president Dr. Chris Hirt, Helena pediatric dentist Dr. Kevin Rencher, MDA vice president Dr. Jane Gillette, Missoula pediatric dentist Dr. Susan Tiede and Greg Gould, MDA’s attorney, testified at the committee hearing on January 21. The bill was supported by hospitals, community clinics, dentists, physicians, optometrists, podiatrists, dental hygienists, nursing homes, and other small health care practices. The only opposition was voiced by DPHHS.