August 2016 Volume 18 Issue 8
Providing Current Information on

Health Insurance Industry Issues and Legislation

Montana Opts Reference Based Pricing
In an effort to contain costs, the State of Montana is switching to Reference Based
pricing for its employee health plan. Governor Steve Bullock estimates the state
will save more than $25 million dollars over the next two and a half years by making
the change. 9 of 10 of the top healthcare providers in the state have agreed to
participate in the program. Will other states follow?
Non-Profits Drive Hospital Merger Surge
Mergers and Acquisitions increased sharply in the first 6 months of 2016. During this
period, there were 52 M&As, 6.1% more than the same period a year ago, according
to an analysis by Kaufman Hall and Associates Non-profits were involved in t 3 of
every 4 hospital mergers and acquisitions in the first six months of 2016.
Colorado Voters Favor Single-Payor Universal Healthcare
This fall, Coloradans will vote on a constitutional amendment to create a health
payment system for all residents of the state. According to a recent poll, 51% of
Colorado voters favor the amendment creating a universal, single-payor healthcare
system. They approve despite the program being partly financed through a $25
billion dollar increase in state taxes, effectively doubling the State's budget.
43 States Get an "F" for Price Transparency
Only 7 states got passing grades for collecting claims data from all their payers
and making that data available on a website, according to the 2016 Report Card
for Price Transparency Laws. 12 of the failing states collect the necessary data
but are not sharing it with the public. The report's authors commented that price
transparency is key to for patients to predict their medical cost of select highquality,
low-cost care.