Governor Gianforte Signs Bill Authorizing Direct Patient Care
HELENA, Mont. – At a direct patient care facility in Billings, Governor Greg Gianforte today signed a bill expanding access to affordable, high-quality health care.
“We’re committed to making affordable, high-quality health care more accessible to Montanans by increasing choice, eliminating regulations, and promoting competition,” Governor Gianforte said. “This new, commonsense law will help bring down the cost of care while strengthening the patient-doctor relationship.”
Sponsored by Sen. Cary Smith (R-Billings), Senate Bill 101 authorizes direct patient care (DPC) agreements in Montana. DPC allows patients to enter into agreements with doctors and pay them directly for health care services, rather than going through an insurance company.
“Senate Bill 101 provides clarity for Montana’s growing Direct Patient Care industry and enables more providers to open up new clinics. DPC gives Montanans a more affordable option to access quality health care and improves the doctor-patient relationship,” bill sponsor Sen. Smith said. “Increasing health care access and lowering the cost of health care have been top priorities for Republican lawmakers this session. With Governor Gianforte’s signature, we’ve achieved another important reform to improve health care in Big Sky Country.”
The new law codifies an advisory memo issued in 2017 by then-Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, Matt Rosendale. Since then, eight DPC clinics have opened in Montana.
“Authorizing direct patient care was a key part of my success providing more affordable health care options for Montanans as insurance commissioner,” Congressman Rosendale said. “I’m glad to see the governor and legislature make this bill a law to make DPC available to more Montanans.”
Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Troy Downing added, “Senate Bill 101 is common-sense legislation for Montana consumers. Adding this tool to the toolbox will expand choices for Montanans across the state. Thank you to Senator Smith for sponsoring this bipartisan bill, and thank you Governor Gianforte for signing it into law.”
Governor Gianforte made increasing access to affordable, high-quality health care a priority in his Montana Comeback Plan.