Montana starts Medicaid pilot

Six clinics in Montana will be the subject of a new, federal coordinated care pilot. The clinics are located in Helena, Missoula, Bozeman, Livingston, Great Falls and Libby and will get extra money for every Medicare patient they see. The money will go to create coordinated care programs for these patients.

The coordinated care program is being piloted to determine best practices for helping elderly patients avoid expensive emergency trips to the hospital. The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the pilot this week and will include 500 other health centers nationwide. Pilot participants will get $6 for each patient involved in the pilot.

According to CMS the money will go toward helping health centers make small improvements to how they handle care with chronic or log term health issues. The funds can be used for helping manage costs for extra services like phone and email advice which is often provided for free. Health providers in Montana plan to use the added funds to provide overall health system improvements.

The project will cost CMS $42 million for all 500 health centers. The results will be monitored by the CMS center for innovation which will issue a report at the end of the pilot.

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