Study finds Montana underpays Medicaid providers by tens of millions

For Dave Eaton, hiring enough staff to help developmentally disabled clients in Livingston with day-to-day tasks is a constant, brutal cycle. Out of every 10 people who come to work at Counterpoint Inc., the small nonprofit he leads, Eaton estimates three leave within a year.

Eaton, the organization’s longtime executive director, attributes the high turnover to one key factor: finding people who want to work a tough job for less than $16 an hour isn’t easy.

“The work that we’re doing, it involves a lot,” he said. His employees help clients with essential parts of their lives, he explained, like shopping for groceries, applying for jobs and attending community events. Counterpoint’s starting wage is $15.72 an hour.

If he could, Eaton said, he would raise wages to stay competitive with other job options. But Counterpoint, like many other Montana health and social service providers, relies heavily on dollars from Medicaid, the state-administered, federally subsidized public health insurance program. While Montana is responsible for setting reimbursement levels for providers who accept Medicaid patients, money the state puts into its program is matched by federal dollars.

People are also reading…

Eaton estimates Medicaid payments make up

View Source