Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Right on Healthcare initiative announced a new partnership with the Frontier Institute to lower health care costs, increase access, and ensure every American is in charge of their own individual or family medical decisions.

“Right on Healthcare looks forward to partnering with the Frontier Institute to tackle the unique health care challenges facing rural states like Montana,” said Right on Healthcare’s Director David Balat. “Putting patients back in charge of their own health care will help lower costs and increase access for all Americans.”

“The Frontier Institute is honored to join with the experts at Right on Healthcare to develop solutions that address our nation’s broken healthcare system,” said Kendall Cotton, President and CEO of Frontier Institute. “By removing government barriers to free choice and empowering patients with control of their health decisions, Montana lawmakers can help drive down the cost of health care.”

Right on Healthcare has developed five specific 2021 legislative priorities to lower health care costs for Montanans:

Expand Telemedicine: Telemedicine offers a convenient and safe alternative to traveling long distances to see a doctor. Montana should permanently eliminate regulations waived during the coronavirus outbreak that increased telemedicine access and lower costs.

Repeal Certificate of Need Laws: Montana’s CON program has been a disaster during the pandemic – increasing costs, limiting access and even costing lives. Repealing this harmful program could help reduce costs and boost much needed hospital capacity.

Protect Direct Primary Care: Direct Primary Care (DPC) has proven to be a transparent, low cost option of quality healthcare for Montanans since being authorized in 2017. DPC Memberships are arrangements for care between patients and their doctors, not insurance. Legislation is needed to permanently authorize DPC and other Direct Care arrangements.

Allow Physicians to Dispense Medicine: Montana is one of only five states that does not allow physicians to directly dispense medications to patients. Doing so not only cuts down wait times at pharmacies, but studies show it increases adherence rates, improves patient health, and reduces the use of emergency care if they’ve had an adverse reaction, lowering costs.

Increase Medicaid Health Care Options: Montana should request a waiver to use Medicaid funds for expanding the number of choices patients have for receiving care, such as direct primary care. This would directly relieve stress and crowding at hospitals that contribute to the spread of disease and the severity of the pandemic.