MTPR

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

Montana now has 12 times as many confirmed pertussis cases than at this time last year.

That’s according to the latest state Health Department report showing there are more than 440 reported pertussis – or whooping cough – cases in Montana. That compares to 37 cases at this time last year.

Timeline for HELP Program/Medicaid Expansion Waiver
Montana DPHHS

Friday was the deadline for public input on the Montana health department’s draft proposal to add work and community service requirements to the state’s health coverage program for low income adults.

At the end of the month, Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) plans to send the federal government the new outline of the state’s Medicaid expansion program, which covers around 90,000 people.


The West Nile virus, the leading mosquito-borne disease in the U.S., has just been detected for the first time this year in mosquitoes in three counties in south-central, central and northeast Montana. And public health officials are urging everyone to take precautions.

Ranch For Kids' main facility in the small, remote town of Rexford, MT.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

The state is still caring for an unknown number of children removed from the Ranch for Kids in Rexford last month due to allegations of chronic abuse. Health officials removed 27 children from the private facility that said it provided therapy to children with severe emotional and behavioral issues.

Ranch For Kids' main facility in the small, remote town of Rexford, MT.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

Two weeks after the state health department removed 27 children from Ranch for Kids in Rexford due to allegations of physical and psychological abuse, the private therapeutic facility has officially appealed the suspension of its license. 

People line up to testify during a hearing on the revised Medicaid expansion bill at the Montana Legislature, March 16, 2019.
Montana Legislature

Plans to tie work requirements to next year’s Medicaid expansion are worrying some of the state’s Medicaid recipients, and they used Thursday’s public meeting in Helena to let state officials know.

7 p.m.:  This story has been updated with quotes from a DPHHS official.

The Montana State Health Department has removed 27 children from a youth treatment facility in northwest Montana called the Ranch for Kids, citing, “serious allegations of egregious, chronic, and persistent child abuse and neglect."

The Lincoln County District Court ordered the removal of the children from the ranch Tuesday, pending a full investigation.

A warning sign for waters that may contain toxic algae.
Montana DEQ/Montana DPHHS

State agencies are warning of increasing "pea soup" looking algal blooms in Montana’s freshwater lakes and reservoirs.

The blue-green algae are usually suspended from or joined to floating mats in the water, and can produce toxins that damage the skin, liver and nerve cells.

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.

Veterans, Buttians, and stateVeterans, Buttians, and state and federal  and federal political figures gathered in Butte for the ceremonial groundbreaking, Tuesday July, 2, of the long awaited Southwest Montana Veterans Home. It was first proposed in 1993.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

After years of waiting, the Southwest Montana Veterans Home broke ground today in Butte.

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