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Sun Jul 29, 2018, 08:47 AM

Montana health providers say damage is done after budget cuts

Montana health service organizations that eliminated staff and services amid state budget cuts cheered Thursday after Gov. Steve Bullock announced that funding will be partially restored, but they say that long-term damage already has been done.

Bullock said Wednesday that a brighter budget picture meant that $45 million will be given back to state agencies that cut spending to close a shortfall caused by lower-than-expected revenues and the most expensive fire season in state history.

Most, if not all, is likely to go to the hard-hit Department of Public Health and Human Services, which cut more than $49 million and left hundreds of jobs unfilled.

To meet those cuts, health officials reduced the reimbursement rate for Medicaid providers like nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, and ended contracts with four organizations that provided case management services to people with developmental disabilities.

Read more: https://billingsgazette.com/news/government-and-politics/montana-health-providers-say-damage-is-done-after-budget-cuts/article_bb68e9c6-f5d1-5c51-8ac5-a18269aa3a8a.html

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