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Gianforte outlines healthcare goals in Billings visit

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Posted at 9:25 PM, Oct 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-21 23:25:17-04

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte made a stop in Billings Friday to see the progress on Billings’ new medical school and to talk about his healthcare agenda for next year.

The governor joined Rocky Vista University officials for a tour of the Montana College of Osteopathic Medicine. He said he’s enthusiastic about what the new school will mean for the future of healthcare in Montana.

“Rocky Vista represents the promise of the future of healthcare in Montana. Here a new pipeline of healthcare leaders will be built as students come here to learn, train, and graduate. Montana will have more doctors ready to serve with compassion, excellence, and integrity in our communities,” Gianforte said.

The governor said new laws have been created to increase access to high-quality care, including the authorization of direct patient care agreements, investment in addiction treatment, and expanded telehealth. He also outlined what some of his priorities will be for healthcare in the 2023 legislative session—objectives he said he arrived at after discussions with many healthcare providers in the community.

“They are grounded on two core principles—expanding access to high-quality care across the entire state of Montana, and second, we are focused on lowering costs for Montanans,” Gianforte said.

Some of the governor’s agenda would include reducing licensing barriers to attract more medical and mental health workers to the state, lowering costs by increasing competition, and reducing what he calls unnecessary regulations.

He also stressed the need to increase transparency in medical billing.

“What if before a procedure you knew what you had to pay? What if your provider or insurer provided you with a cost estimate? We must ensure that Montanans will have access to important prior to receiving services,” he said.

Gianforte said he urges the Biden Administration and Congress to take market-based approaches to lower healthcare costs.

“Congress must resist the urge to just throw more money at the problem and expect prices to come down. That just won’t happen,” he says.