Providers this week in Montana received word that proposed cuts to Medicaid reimbursement to DME would not be implemented in the state budget. This is a fantastic win for Montana providers and should be the model for other states to become involved in their grassroots efforts. Last month providers met in Helena to make the case for DME to be left out of the proposed cuts to Medicaid reimbursement rates, which would have removed $3 million out of the Montana DME industry. The effort, led by the Big Sky state association, brought in members from around the state to testify before the Joint Subcommittee on Health and Human Services. The group also visited Governor Steve Bullock’s office to make their voices heard about these cuts.
Big Sky President, Alesha Rate of Norco Inc. was very happy with the news saying, “I want to thank our house representative and senators for listening to us. Even though the fight isn’t over, the strength that came from our Big Sky AMES Association proved that we as DME providers are strong as a team!” Rate continued to say, “Being able to stop this cut will help keep the last few brick and mortar providers open in the state of Montana as well as ensure that these less fortunate patients are well taken care of.”
John Gallagher, VGM VP of Government Relations had the opportunity to be in Helena for the hearing and said, “Thanks to the efforts that Big Sky made to push back on proposed Montana Medicaid cuts, providers and Medicaid patients across the state have reason to celebrate. When providers respond with a proactive, unified message, the DME community wins.”
Without action by these providers and the Big Sky association, the proposed cuts would have likely became a reality for Montana providers. This is yet another great example of being an active member within your state association. If you are not a member of your local association, we encourage you to visit the VGM D.C. Link to view our interactive map to find out more information.