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UM News
January 09, 2013


Imagine a world where you carry your medical history and prescriptions with you on a credit card. Where your doctor calls you to make an appointment to get your high blood pressure checked. Or where you can pull up a website and learn what surgical procedures actually will cost and which hospitals have the lowest error rates.

Larry White, director of the Western Montana Area Health Education Center at The University of Montana, said this is where health care is going, and we’re getting there fast. Changes in health care are all around us. Will Montana households, businesses and governments be ready for them?

White will discuss the latest health care developments at the 38th Annual Economic Outlook Seminar, “The Best Medicine: How Can Montanans Take Charge of Changes in Health Care?”

This half-day seminar and luncheon will highlight economic trends for local, state and national economies. UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research economists Patrick Barkey and Paul Polzin will present economic forecasts for each seminar city, and industry experts will provide the outlook for Montana’s important sectors: nonresident travel, health care, agriculture, real estate, manufacturing and forest products. New in 2013, the seminar also will feature coverage of Montana’s energy industry.

The seminar runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will be held in nine Montana cities during January, February and March. Registration costs $80, which includes a booklet, lunch and a one-year subscription to Montana Business Quarterly, BBER’s award-winning business journal. Continuing education credits are available, and groups of five or more qualify for discounted registration.

The series begins in Helena on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at the Best Western Great Northern Hotel. Following is the schedule for other seminar cities:

  • Great Falls – Wednesday, Jan. 30, Hilton Garden Inn
  • Missoula – Friday, Feb. 1, Hilton Garden Inn
  • Billings – Tuesday, Feb. 5, Crowne Plaza
  • Bozeman – Wednesday, Feb. 6, Best Western GranTree
  • Butte – Thursday, Feb. 7, La Quinta Inn
  • Kalispell – Friday, Feb. 15, Hilton Garden Inn
  • Sidney – Tuesday, March 12, USDA/ARS Northern Plains Agricultural Research Lab
  • Miles City – Wednesday, March 13, Bureau of Land Management Field Office

The 2013 Montana Economic Outlook Seminars are sponsored by NorthWestern Energy, Benefis Health System, Pacific Steel and Recycling and Montana Health CO-OP.

For more information or to register for a seminar, visit BBER online at or call 406-243-5113.





Contact: Christina Henderson, UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research, 406-243-5113,