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Healthcare news from Montana Public Radio.

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Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly named Kenzie House as Sober Beginning's third sober home. Kacy Keith and Traci Jordan recently opened Ruthie House.

Three new sober homes have opened in Billings this summer. The women behind them say dorm-style houses offer a safe space for people working through addiction. But some treatment providers say sober living homes are part of a larger system of treatment that needs improvement.

Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
Courtesy Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

Nurses across the Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH) system overwhelmingly voted to unionize last week. The newly formed union will represent more than 500 nurses working in KRH facilities.

After about a year of organizing, about 65 percent of Kalispell Regional Healthcare nurses voted in favor of unionizing on Thursday and Friday.

For the first time ever, federal Farm Bill grants for medicine are being aimed at treating opiod addiction. $188 thousand for that is heading to the Bighorn Valley Health Center in Southeast Montana.

The total number of candidates running for Montana’s open U.S. House seat jumped to seven today. That’s after Simms Democrat Matt Rains and Corvallis Republican Tim Johnson announced their candidacies.

More than 40 people came to the DPHHS hearing on Medicaid cuts Feb. 1, 2018 in Helena.
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

Montana’s Medicaid expansion now covers more than 92,000 people. Its future was in question earlier this year when state lawmakers debated whether to continue it, and if so, how.

Conservative lawmakers campaigned to scrap expansion altogether. More moderate Republicans pushed for adding work requirements for enrollees — something not allowed under the Obama administration but OK'd by President Trump.

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