MTPR

Montana Healthcare Foundation

Billings Clinic in Billings, MT.
Courtesy Billings Clinic

The first-ever Montana medical residency for psychiatrists was announced today at Billings Clinic.

PD.

The committee that oversees Montana’s Medicaid expansion is expected to recommend that it continue beyond its 2019 sunset date.

A draft document released Friday suggests expansion has helped nine percent more adults who are eligible for Medicaid join the workforce in Montana. It also says six percent more of Medicaid eligible adults with disabilities are joining the workforce.

Montana lawmakers voted to expand Medicaid here in 2015 in part because the bill doing so included incentives to help those receiving the health coverage to get jobs, or better paying jobs.

The percentages of Americans and Montanans without health insurance 2009-2016
Montana Healthcare Foundation

A report being released today says Montana’s uninsured rate is staying steady at about half of what it was before Medicaid expansion started in 2016. It says just under eight percent of Montanans now lack health insurance.

And, one of the studies outlines what it says are clear benefits to the state as voters and state lawmakers are considering whether to end Medicaid expansion.

Morphine pills.
Eric Norris (CC-BY-2) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The Trump administration this week released almost $500 million to combat the nation’s opioid crisis. 

Montana’s share of that federal funding from Health and Human Services is $2 million, the same amount it received last year.

Medicaid expansion in Montana is expected to cost the state more than $58 million annually in a couple of years. But, a new economic analysis says the healthcare program in on track to pay for itself by then through savings in other parts of the state budget and increased economic activity.

Sarah Corbally is an attorney in Helena and previously served as head of Montana’s child and family services division. She’s also on the board of Florence Crittenton.
Corin Cates-Carney

One of the three homes in Montana run by nonprofit organizations that help young moms and their kids stay out of the state’s foster care system closed last week. It was in Billings.

Budget cuts imposed by the state Legislature last year mean the state health department is eliminating more than $1.5 million in funding* for these kinds of organizations, sometimes referred to as "second chance homes."

A baby clutches a parent's finger. Stock photo.
(PD)

The Montana Department of Health launched a new program today aimed at reducing child deaths, along with abuse and neglect among vulnerable families. The First Years Initiative will provide services and resources to new mothers and their children. It’s funded through a federal grant and will be rolled out in stages.

Greg Pinski
Courtesy of Montana Judicial Branch

The Affordable Care Act, and it’s expansion of Medicaid are making a big difference fighting drug addiction in Montana.

That’s according to multiple panelists at a “Substance Use Disorder Summit” put on by the Montana Healthcare Foundation in Helena today.

John Goodnow is the CEO of Benefis Health System, Montana's second-largest, in Great Falls
Eric Whitney

The CEO of one of Montana's largest hospitals says Republicans are helping to create the instability that’s causing insurance companies to leave the federal health care exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act.

John Goodnow, CEO of Benefis Health System in Great Falls, said Republican talk about reducing subsidies that help people buy coverage is a, quote, "slick trick" to ensure the exchanges will fail.

Morphine pills.
Eric Norris (CC-BY-2) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Lawmakers will study prisoner solitary confinement and meth and opioid abuse during the legislative interim as they begin to shape new policy proposals for the 2019 session.

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