MTPR

Medicaid

An woman holds a sign during a picket of Western Montana Mental Health Center in Missoula, Dec. 18, 2017, following state budget cuts to mental health services.
Olga Kreimer

Montana lawmakers met today to start setting the budget for programs that help people with mental illness or drug and alcohol use disorders.

State health department officials say in recent years the administration has increased Montanans’ access to mental health care with the help of Medicaid expansion.

On June 24, assisted living businesses and workers asked the Montana Legislature to increase payments for day-to-day services for seniors and people with disabilities.
(PD)

Businesses that care for the elderly, poor and disabled say they’re struggling to make ends meet on what the state pays for housing and assisted living services.

Much of that funding is via Medicaid, and on Thursday, assisted living businesses and workers asked the Montana Legislature to increase payments for day-to-day services for seniors and people with disabilities.

American Network of Community Options and Resources ranking of how well state Medicaid  programs serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
American Network of Community Options and Resources

Montana continues to rank among the bottom states in the nation in providing services for people with disabilities, according to one new report. The findings were given to lawmakers Monday as they consider a slate of bills aimed at improving the situation.

Montana State Auditor Matt Rosendale.
Eric Whitney / MTPR

The company that negotiates deals between pharmacies, prescription drug makers and Montana’s biggest health insurance company has agreed to a $375,000 settlement with the Montana state auditor.

Earlier this year, Auditor Matt Rosendale’s office went after pharmacy benefit management companies, what it calls the ‘middle men’ in the world of prescription drugs. Rosendale alleged those companies are violating Montana insurance law by operating in the state without a license.

Montana Nurses Association alleges Kalispell Regional Healthcare violated federal worker rights laws.
iStock

The Montana Nurses Association filed charges against Kalispell Regional Healthcare Wednesday for allegedly violating federal worker rights laws.

According to a press release from the nurses' group, Kalispell Regional interfered with employee rights to form a nurses union, in breach of the National Labor Relations Act.

Rep. Greg Hertz (R) - HD12. Hertz is the speaker of the House at the Montana Legislature.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s legislative session doesn’t start for another seven weeks, but state lawmakers met at the capitol Wednesday to elect political leaders in the state House and Senate. 

On tap for 2019: Another political face-off between the Republican majority in the House and Senate and Democratic Governor Steve Bullock - particularly over the future of Medicaid expansion in Montana. 

Caregiver. File photo.
iStock

The Montana health department is proposing a $1-per-hour wage increase for direct-care workers for disability services. It’s part of Governor Steve Bullock’s plan to restore budget cuts enacted over the last two years. But not all the money that was cut is getting put back.

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

When Montana lawmakers and the governor cut $49 million from the state health department earlier this year, it disrupted care for thousands of Montana’s most vulnerable residents. Over 100 case management jobs were cut. Now, the health department is meeting with contractors about the possibility of redesigning the system.

Anti-I-185 advertising has included a heavy presence at Montana convenience stores
Eric Whitney

Spending in the campaigns for and against I-185 has made it the most expensive ballot measure race in Montana history.

The ballot initiative to raise tobacco taxes and continue Medicaid expansion has drawn more than $17 million in spending from tobacco companies. Most has come from cigarette maker Altria, and it’s more than the company has ever spent on any proposed ballot measure nationwide. That’s according to records from the National Center for Money in Politics dating back to 2004.

A 'no on I-185'" sign at a Missoula gas station.
Josh Burnham / MTPR

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A tobacco company has dumped nearly $5 million more into the campaign to defeat a Montana ballot initiative in the final weeks before the Nov. 6 election.

Pages