Answering the call of our Mission to care for everyone, we serve a large and growing population of patients covered by the state Medicaid program, who often have difficulty getting access to care. In early 2016, Montana began broadening its Medicaid eligibility with strong support from Providence.
Providence has been a steady advocate for more Medicaid coverage in the Legislature and in the community. We believe access to health insurance is so important that our hospitals in western Montana collaborate with community partners to help residents in Lake and Missoula counties enroll in the coverage that best meets their needs. In 2016, thousands of previously uninsured Montana residents have newly enrolled in health coverage.
Access to health care coverage was identified as an area of great need in Providence’s community health needs assessment. Being covered means people can get the preventive care they need and address medical conditions before they are serious enough to need treatment in an emergency department.
During the past year, our unfunded costs of Medicaid doubled for a total investment of more than $4 million. The unfunded portion of Medicaid is the difference between the cost of care and what is paid by government.