Payer Roundup—Senate delays Montana Medicaid bill

Montana landscape with mountains
The Montana Senate has delayed a bill that would guarantee Medicaid expansion to continue, plus more healthcare news. (Getty/Srongkrod)

Senate delays Montana Medicaid bill

This weekend, the Montana State Senate delayed a bill to continue Medicaid expansion. While the clock on renewal is ticking, Republican legislators are trying to use the non-vote as leverage for other legislation. 

An earlier vote of 25 to 25 failed to move what is called House Bill 658, which removes a summer expiration date on the program that extends Medicaid coverage to those citizens earning up to 138% of the federal poverty level. The bill also adds work requirements to the program. 

According to law, the Medicaid expansion bill would need to clear the Senate chamber by Tuesday because of a transmittal deadline. (Helena Independent Record)


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Schreiber named new president, CEO of SantaFe HealthCare

SantaFe HealthCare announced the appointment of Lawrence Schreiber as the new president and CEO. Schreiber has more than 30 years of experience, most recently as the president and CEO of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield and the CEO of Wisconsin Collaborative Insurance Company. 

Schreiber joined Anthem in 2006 and during part of his tenure served as leader of UniCare Life and Health, an Anthem subsidiary. And before joining Anthem, Schreiber held a number of executive management positions at UnitedHealth Group and Aetna.

"It's an honor to be asked to lead SantaFe HealthCare, which uniquely serves the healthcare needs of Floridians through all stages of life," said Schreiber in a statement. "I look forward to building on the organization's strengths to deliver even higher levels of service excellence and deepen their community engagement." (PR Newswire)

Patients delay health needs until after tax refunds

Traditionally, out-of-pocket spending on healthcare jumps about 60% in the U.S. in the week following tax refunds, according to data from the JPMorgan Chase Institute.

Most of those expenditures go to clinics, hospitals or other medical providers. Specifically, dentists and physicians’ offices accounted for the greatest share of in-person health payments after refunds. 

In 2018, more than one in three working-aged people skipped a doctors’ visit, a medical test or a prescription refill because of the cost, reports Commonwealth Fund. (Health Leaders)

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