MTPR

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services

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.

Nearly 23 percent of Montana high school students use electronic cigarette type products, according to the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the Montana Office of Public Instruction.
(PD)

Montana’s health department issued a warning Thursday about a popular electronic cigarette they fear is addicting a new generation to nicotine.

The warning comes just five days before Montana voters will decide whether or not to tax e-cigarettes in the state for the first time.

Governor Steve Bullock speaking during the announcement of a $800,000 federal grant to fund respite services in Montana, Tuesday, October 23.  Respite helps provide a temporary break for family caregivers of children or adults with special needs.
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

Montana is receiving an $800,000 federal grant to pay and train family caregivers of children and adults with special needs.

The three-year grant funds the Montana Lifespan Respite program, which gives vouchers that allow family caregivers to hire a professional who can give them a break.

On Thursday the head of Montana’s health department will speak publicly about recent deep budget cuts. She’ll be on a panel with state lawmakers that a progressive political group in Helena is hosting. 

Mental health services.
Flickr user Publik15 (CC-BY-SA)

 

Organizations that provide care for people with mental health problems in Montana say they’ve reached an agreement with the state health department to redesign a big portion of the system they work in. 

Health officials have now confirmed 92 whooping cough cases in the Missoula area.
iStock.

Pieces of the state budget that fell apart over the last year and a half are starting to get put back together. Last week, Governor Steve Bullock released a plan that outlined $45 million in budget restorations now that the state has collected more revenue than was forecast last year.

Most of the restorations are going to the state health department, which took the biggest budget cuts in January and reduced services for the poor, elderly and disabled.

Anaconda copper smelter.
Keith Ewing (CC-BY-NC-2) / Flickr

A federal agency is offering free testing for lead in blood and arsenic in urine for Anaconda residents next weekend.

A century of copper smelting left soils in the Anaconda area contaminated with heavy metals, so researchers are asking: “Are exposures to arsenic and lead at levels currently that could adversely affect people’s health?”

Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio


More than $45 million of the state budget will be restored under a plan by Governor Steve Bullock. It will unwind budget cuts enacted over the last year that have devastated parts of Montana's health care community.

Many of Montana’s poorest and most vulnerable people — and the health care providers who serve them — are anxiously awaiting news from Governor Steve Bullock this week. Bullock is expected to release his plan to restore some funding to health programs for the state’s poor and disabled that have been devastated by budget cuts over the last year.

MTPR Capitol Reporter Corin Cates-Carney is here now to talk about the upcoming announcement.

More details on Governor Steve Bullock’s plan to restore parts of the state budget are expected this week.

On Tuesday, the state health department says it will issue a new rule that will restore a nearly 3 percent cut to how much it pays doctors, clinics and other health care providers who see Medicaid patients, retroactive to July 1 of this year. That’s two months ahead of when the department initially said providers could expect that rate restoration.

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