Montana Legislature Hearing Alert for Thursday, January 7th 

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House Bill 38

On Thursday, January 7, at 3:00 in room 152, the House Human Services Committee will hear HB 38 “Establish legislative intent for home and community-based services waivers.” Click here to read this bill. This bill would establish that it is the intent of the legislature that the Department shall review whether the services and equipment recommended by medical professionals will collectively, not individually, prevent an individual from requiring an institutional level of care. It would also direct the Department to approve each waiver service or item of medical equipment that will contribute to allowing a person to remain in a home or community setting even if the service or item on its own would not prevent an institutional level of care.

Why is this necessary? Roughly 6 years ago, the senior and long term care division of MT DPHHS began to require a much higher standard for a person to demonstrate that a service or piece of equipment alone would keep them out of an institutional setting. If they couldn’t prove that the individual service or piece of equipment alone didn’t keep them from an institution, it was denied. It is very difficult to prove that most individual services or pieces of equipment alone could keep someone from an institutional placement, even if they are necessary.

This was a substantial change that contradicted the technical guidance from the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Up until 6 years ago, the Department had looked at the services and equipment as a whole to determine whether they diverted people from an institution. This bill would return the Department to using the prior, correct interpretation of the need for waiver services and equipment.

Please consider testifying in support of the bill. 

Members of the committee to contact:

Chair Dennis Lenz (R) -

Vice Chair Lola Sheldon Galloway (R) -

Vice Chair Jessica Karjala (D) -

Kim Abbott (D) -

Alice Buckley (D) -

Ed Buttrey (R) -

Jennifer Carlson (R) -

Mary Ann Dunwell (D) -

Gregory Frazer (R) -

Jane Gillette (R) -

Sharon Greef (R) -

Ed Hill (R) -

Caleb Hinkle (R) -

Kathy Kelker (D) -

Amy Regier (R) -

Ed Stafman (D) -

Mallerie Stromswold (R) -

Danny Tenenbaum (D) -

Tom Welch (R) -


To listen to audio/video streaming of committee hearings, click here.


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"Advocating for justice is our individual and collective responsibility."

Executive Director,
Disability Rights Montana
Bernie Franks-Ongoy


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