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Healthcare news from Montana Public Radio.

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A Washington state resident has been diagnosed with a new virus that has infected hundreds and killed six in China. Montana health officials are monitoring the situation, but say they’re not ‘overly-worried’.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a Seattle man is the nation’s first confirmed case of Wuhan coronavirus.

(L to R) Dusty Mikalatos, Angie Davis, Peyton Nelson, and Tamara Nichols, OBRNs from Community Hospital of Anaconda take part in a medical simulation training. Joe Poole of Best Practice Medicine looks on.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

Health care providers, like athletes, need routine and rigorous training to stay on top of their game. But getting that instruction is challenging for those practicing frontier medicine.

One Montana program is now delivering state-of-the-art simulated training to some of the state’s most remote clinics and hospitals. And experts say it’s helping save lives.

Limited access to therapists, cost and stigma around mental health can make it difficult for rural Montanans to get the care they need. Now, Bozeman researchers are testing and adapting a new online program that’s been shown to side-step those barriers and reduce depression and anxiety for adults.

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Glacier County is no longer transferring patients from the U.S. Indian Health Service’s Browning facility to other hospitals. The county is now suing the IHS, saying the federal agency owes over $1.8 million for ambulance rides dating back to 2014. IHS says it can’t verify the county’s claim.

Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
Courtesy Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

Kalispell Regional Healthcare is facing a second lawsuit over its handling of a data breach last year of up to 130,000 patients' medical and financial information. Court documents allege the hospital was negligent in its cyber security practices and put patients at risk by not immediately alerting them about the breach. 

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One Montana vape store chain says it will continue providing its customers with the flavors they want despite the state’s temporary ban on the sale of flavored vaping products.

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Vape device
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A statewide temporary ban on the sale of flavored vaping products is now in place after a last-minute legal move from store owners failed to block it. The ban runs until April 16.

The Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services says e-cigarette products should "never be used by youth, young adults, pregnant women, or adults who do not currently use tobacco products."
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Vape store owners are asking a Montana judge for an emergency motion to stop the Bullock administration from moving forward with a temporary ban on the sale of flavored vaping products.

The health department says it'll start enforcing that ban Wednesday.

Flavored vape products at an Oct. 30, 2019 state district court hearing in Hamilton over Montana's temporary vape ban.
Edward O'Brien / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s health department says it will begin enforcing its emergency ban on the sale of flavored vaping products beginning Dec. 18. The agency today said a temporary restraining order preventing the ban from taking effect expired October 28.

Six weeks ago Ravalli County District Judge Jennifer Lint heard arguments on a motion by industry groups seeking a preliminary injunction against the ban. Lint has not yet issued a ruling.

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