(CUT BANK) – THE C-E-O OF THE NORTHERN ROCKIES MEDICAL CENTER IN CUT BANK, CHERIE TAYLOR SAYS LITERALLY, “WE AS A FACILITY WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CONTINUE ON WITH THE NEGATIVE MARGINS WE WERE SHOWING BEFORE THE HELP ACT.

TAYLOR AND THE CUT BANK HOSPITAL BOARD HAVE PASSED A DETAILED RESOLUTION ENDORSING THE CONTINUATION OF THE “HELP ACT,” COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS MEDICAID EXPANSION.

Q: “sustain that”…………..News Audio…………..Cherie Taylor-

THE RESOLUTION ALSO GIVES A COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF HOW THE EXPANDED COVERAGE OF 95-THOUSAND MONTANANS HAS CREATED A SHIFT IN THE WAY, THE SAME PATIENTS ARE NOW IN MANY CASES GETTING PREVENTIVE CARE COVERAGE THAT HAS DRAMATICALLY REDUCED CHARITY CARE AND MORE EXPENSIVE, IN-PATIENT CARE.

IN GLACIER COUNTY ALONE, 20-PERCENT (2,700) MORE RESIDENTS ARE NOW RECEIVING HEALTH CARE COVERAGE AND AS A RESULT, THE NORTHERN ROCKIES MEDICAL CENTER HAS REMAINED FINANCIALLY VIABLE DUE TO THE 52-PERCENT REDUCTION IN UNCOMPENSATED CARE THAT THEY GAVE PREVIOUSLY.

TAYLOR ARGUES THAT THE SAME PEOPLE ARE GETTING CARE BUT AT A LESSER COST AND THE HOSPITAL IS GETTING THE PAYMENT THEY DESERVE FOR THE CARE.

THE CHAIRMAN OF THE HOSPITAL BOARD RICK BILLMAN SAID THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS IN CUT BANK DEPENDS ON THE HOSPITAL.   HE SAID, “IT’S THE #1 QUESTION ASKED IF SOMEBODY IS CONSIDERING LOCATING THERE…..WHAT’S YOUR HOSPITAL LIKE.”

STATE REPRESENTATIVE LEW JONES AND DIST. 8 SENATOR SUSAN WEBER WERE THE ONLY TWO LEGISLATORS TO ATTEND THE MEETING MONDAY NIGHT.   THEY BOTH SEEMED FAVORABLE TO THE CONTINUATION OF THE “HELP ACT,” BUT JONES WARNED THERE WILL BE STRONG OPPOSTION.  SOME, HE NOTED, ARE VIEWING THE DEFEAT OF I-185 TO FUND MEDICAID EXPANSION AS A MESSAGE THAT MT. DOESN’T WANT IT.

JONES ALSO SUGGESTED A MEASURE TO PASS MEDICAID EXPANSION MAY BE CALLED THE MEDICAID REFORM AND INTEGRITY ACT BECAUSE THEY ARE SEEING TRENDS TOWARD SOME LARGE GROUPS OR INDIVIDUALS WHO CLAIM LITTLE INCOME BUT IN HIS WORDS, “THERE ARE SOME WHO DRIVE A LEXUS BUT ARE STILL FINDING WAYS TO USE MEDICAID EXPANSION HEALTHCARE DOLLARS.

HE ALSO ENCOURAGED OTHER LOCAL HOSPITALS OR GROUPS TO SIGN RESOLUTIONS AND IN SOME WAY SHOW SUPPORT SINCE BATTLING THE OPPOSITION CAN FEEL A BIT LONELY AT TIMES.

TAYLOR SAID THERE’S NO DOUBT IT’S WHAT THE HOPSITAL IS PUSHING FOR.

Q: “services to them……………News Audio………..Cherie Taylor