Montana Administrative Register Notice 37-658 No. 22   11/27/2013    
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In the matter of the amendment of ARM 37.12.401 pertaining to laboratory testing fees










TO: All Concerned Persons


1. On December 27, 2013, the Department of Public Health and Human Services proposes to amend the above-stated rule.


2. The Department of Public Health and Human Services will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process or need an alternative accessible format of this notice. If you require an accommodation, contact Department of Public Health and Human Services no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 19, 2013, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need. Please contact Kenneth Mordan, Department of Public Health and Human Services, Office of Legal Affairs, P.O. Box 4210, Helena MT 59604-4210; telephone (406) 444-4094; fax (406) 444-9744; or e-mail dphhslegal@mt.gov.


3. The rule as proposed to be amended provides as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:


37.12.401 LABORATORY FEES FOR ANALYSES (1) remains the same.

            (2) The Department of Public Health and Human Services shall will maintain a list of all tests available from the lab and the price of each test. The department adopts and incorporates by reference the Laboratory Test Fee List effective July 1, 2010 January 1, 2014, which shall be is available on the web site of the Department of Public Health and Human Services at www.dphhs.mt.gov/forms/ www.dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/lab/labfees.shtml, and by mail upon request to the lab at the Department of Public Health and Human Services, Public Health and Safety Division, P.O. Box 6489, Helena, MT 59604-6489.

            (3) and (4) remain the same.


AUTH: 50-1-202, MCA

IMP:     50-1-202, MCA




The Department of Public Health and Human Services (the department) proposes to modify ARM 37.12.401 to reference the new version of the state laboratory fee list, which provides an average increase of 6% in the cost of lab services, though fee increases on a test-by-test basis vary. ARM 37.12.401 provides information regarding the fees charged for biological and environmental tests performed by the Montana State Laboratory, in conformity with state statute. The revised fees are necessary to keep the fees charged for lab service in line with the actual current cost associated with providing that service.


The proposed fee increases will result in a cumulative increase in fees for all laboratory services of approximately $185,000, affecting about 1000 annual customers of the state laboratory. The proposed fee increases represent the minimum necessary to maintain the state laboratory's current level of services, and are reasonably necessary to allow the state laboratory to fulfill its obligations as an adjunct to public health and health care functions in the state of Montana. The proposed fees account for the increased costs incurred by the laboratory since the last fee increase, including increases in cost of personnel, supplies, and new and replacement testing equipment.


The department considered not increasing its testing fees, but concluded that not doing so would result in the laboratory spending more to provide services than it would recover in service fees, and would result in the laboratory having to discontinue services.


On November 27, 2013, the department will post the proposed revised fee list at the following web site: www.dphhs.mt.gov/publichealth/lab/labfees.shtml.


5. The department intends the proposed rule changes to be applied effective January 1, 2014.


6. Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments concerning the proposed action in writing to: Kenneth Mordan, Office of Legal Affairs, Department of Public Health and Human Services, P.O. Box 4210, Helena MT 59604-4210, no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 26, 2013. Comments may also be faxed to (406) 444-9744 or e-mailed to dphhslegal@mt.gov.


7. If persons who are directly affected by the proposed action wish to express their data, views, or arguments orally or in writing at a public hearing, they must make written request for a hearing and submit this request along with any written comments to Kenneth Mordan at the above address no later than 5:00 p.m., December 26, 2013.


8. If the agency receives requests for a public hearing on the proposed action from either 10% or 25, whichever is less, of the persons directly affected by the proposed action; from the appropriate administrative rule review committee of the Legislature; from a governmental subdivision or agency; or from an association having not less than 25 members who will be directly affected, a hearing will be held at a later date. Notice of the hearing will be published in the Montana Administrative Register. Ten percent of those directly affected has been determined to be 100 persons based on the 1000 customers affected by rules covering state laboratory fees and services.


9. The department maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency.  Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request that includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person to receive notices and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices. Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request. Such written request may be mailed or delivered to the contact person in 6 above or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the department.


10. An electronic copy of this proposal notice is available through the Secretary of State's web site at http://sos.mt.gov/ARM/Register. The Secretary of State strives to make the electronic copy of this notice conform to the official version of the notice, as printed in the Montana Administrative Register, but advises all concerned persons that in the event of a discrepancy between the official printed text of the notice and the electronic version of the notice, only the official printed text will be considered. In addition, although the Secretary of State works to keep its web site accessible at all times, concerned persons should be aware that the web site may be unavailable during some periods, due to system maintenance or technical problems.


11. The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, do not apply.


12. With regard to the requirements of 2-4-111, MCA, the department has determined that the amendment of the above-referenced rule will not significantly and directly impact small businesses.




/s/ Shannon L. McDonald                          /s/ Richard H. Opper                                   

Shannon L. McDonald                               Richard H. Opper, Director

Rule Reviewer                                           Public Health and Human Services


Certified to the Secretary of State November 18, 2013.



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