Frequently Asked Questions about this partnership

We're committed to answering your questions about the exciting partnership between Community and Billings Clinic RegionalCare.  Do you have any questions not answered here?  Please email us at: contactus@communitymed.org

Why is Community becoming a for-profit hospital and what does that mean for Western Montana?

  • Community’s for-profit status will mean greater investment in health care technology infrastructure and the ability to recruit top physicians to support excellence in care in care with capital that is unavailable to hospitals working under the non-profit status.
  • This partnership encourages healthy competition,offering two hospitals that are committed to providing the very best in care to Western Montana.
  • The key difference between “not for profit” and “for profit” hospitals is tax status.  Because of the designation of Billings Clinic RegionalCare, Community will become a taxpayer, supporting the infrastructure needs of Missoula.

What are other key commitments made by RegionalCare Billings Clinic?

  • Billings Clinic RegionalCare will commit to hire all current Community employees in good standing.
  • Billings Clinic RegionalCare is committed to continued community collaborations.
  • Community will continue to have local leadership through a community board of trustees, physicians, and a management team based in Missoula.

What happens if Billings Clinic RegionalCare has profits?

  • Just like other hospitals, BillingsClinic RegionalCare intends to reinvest any “profits” back into the hospital.  These investments may include new strategic enhancements such as technology, facilities, equipment, and physician recruitment.
  • Billings Clinic RegionalCare will not pay out dividends.

How much is Community selling for?

  • Net proceeds, after all of Community’s liabilities have been extinguished, is estimated at $67.4 million.

Who gets that money?

  • Because Community was originally established as a non-profit organization, net proceeds will be reinvested into another not-for-profit organization, committed to serving a mission or purpose similar to the historical mission or purpose of Community.

What is the process/timeline of the sale?

  • After spending more than a year reviewing potential buyers, the Board of Community Medical Center accepted the proposal submitted by Billings Clinic and RegionalCare Hospital Partners.
  • Because the decision involves a non-profit organization, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox will approve the final sale—a decision expected later this year.
  • For more information about this partnership, please visit https://dojmt.gov/attorney-general-approves-sale-of-community-medical-center/

Will I get to keep my doctor?

  • In most cases, you will be able to continue seeing your Community Physician Group provider.
  • Community plans to grow through this partnership, building off its existing physicians and employees. This means you will have more choices of specialists and primary care physicians in the Missoula marketplace.

Does Missoula County own the land where Community Medical Center was built?

  • No.
  • Community Medical Center bought the land from Missoula County in November of 1965, and it was paid off in three years.
  • The Missoula County Attorney's Office in September put together this public memo, complete with a timeline, to clear up this point back, adding "There is nothing...that would limit or restrict the sale of the property to a for-profit entity or (that would) give Missoula County an interest in the property."

Will medical costs go up?

  • Health care costs will remain competitive.
  • The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, in its 2011 annual report to Congress, said "for-profit hospitals have had slower growth in costs per discharge than non-profit hospitals."
  • In testimony to Congress, the former Administrator for Medicare and Medicaid Services said: "Most studies have found little difference in the community benefits provided by for-profit versus non-profit hospitals, where community benefits are defined to include uncompensated care and the provision of unprofitable or non-reimbursable services.  Indeed, some studies find that non-profits actually treat fewer indigent patients that do for-profits.”