A Trusted Source for Health Care Analysis in Montana

Health care and health care finance have emerged as pivotal issues for businesses, households, and governments throughout the country. Heath care services are now one of the largest employing sectors in the economy, and growth in health care spending has significantly outpaced overall growth for almost 30 years. The Bureau recognized the importance of these developments by establishing a Health Care Research Program in the mid-1990s. Since then, BBER has continuously monitored markets, trends, industry structure, and costs related to health care.

The health economy merits attention for its sheer size both nationally and in the state of Montana. Health care spending continues to gobble up larger and larger shares of the state economy, representing sizable capital investments and a large and growing share of the labor force. Since passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, health care dominates both the political and economic landscapes.

The UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research is a trusted source for outside evaluations of state health care and social services programs. BBER researchers are also engaged in timely and significant assessments of the health insurance status of Montana households, including analysis of the Affordable Care Act on Montana’s insured, uninsured, and underinsured populations. Medicaid, which provides health care services for eligible low-income populations, has been a particularly pressing issue in the past year, and BBER economists have done extensive research on the topic.

As Montana’s leaders look to take charge of coming changes in health care, BBER is helping to ensure that they go forward armed with the best data possible to make decisions.