MTPR

Montana Healthcare Foundation

(PD)

More than 70,000 Montanans would lose health coverage under the health care bill being considered by Congress, and the state would lose $4.8 billion in federal funding.

Shards of methamphetamine hydrochloride, also known as crystal meth.
Radspunk (GFDL)

The Montana Healthcare Foundation announced today a series of listening sessions across the state to assess the impact of substance abuse on Montana communities.

Earlier this year, Montana’s Attorney General Tim Fox launched Aid Montana, a statewide initiative combining enforcement, treatment and education efforts to tackle drug abuse. 

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox.
Courtesy Montana DOJ

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced a new strategy to combat substance abuse in the state on the Capitol steps Wednesday afternoon.

Backed by law enforcement, lawmakers, and healthcare officials, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox announced an initiative his office is calling "AID," short for addressing the impact of drugs:

 Montana’s Spending on substance use disorder treatment by funding source, fiscal year 2016
Montana Healthcare Foundation

There’s long been an imbalance in the number of Montanans who need help beating alcoholism and drug abuse and the amount of treatment programs available.

Lately, those consequences are showing up in the state’s foster care system. The number of children needing care due to drug use problems in their parents has doubled since 2010, and the number of babies born drug-affected has tripled since then.

Those numbers are from a new report by the Montana Healthcare Foundation, which also says the state now has a golden opportunity to dramatically increase the availability of drug and alcohol treatment services.

A new report says Montana stands to lose more than $284 million in healthcare funding if Congress repeals the Medicaid expansion that’s part of the Affordable Care Act.
Courtesy

A new report says Montana stands to lose more than $284 million in healthcare funding if Congress repeals the Medicaid expansion that’s part of the Affordable Care Act.

Crystal Methampetamine, or "meth."
File photo (PD)

Montana lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, along with state agency workers and members of the public convened in Helena Saturday with one big problem to discuss.

"Without question, everyone in here, in this room, every citizen in this state, every resident of my community is affected by methamphetamine."

(PD)

There's a new effort underway in the state to better connect hospitals, doctors' offices and other health care providers. Like, through the internet. That's not really happening much now, and it's frustrating to doctors like Michael Vlases with Bozeman Health:

Job Service officies statewide, like this one in Kalispell, are offering special help to new Medicaid recipients
Eric Whitney

Medicaid expansion barely passed Montana's Legislature last year. One of the reasons it was able to get enough Republican votes is because it included a component to encourage Medicaid recipients to get jobs, or better-paying jobs, so they could get off of Medicaid and buy their own health insurance.

Tuesday afternoon, a legislative oversight committee is taking a look at how that work component is going.

(PD)

Half a dozen health care systems in Montana are sharing more than $700,000 in grants to make mental or behavioral health care easier to get.

The Montana Healthcare Foundation says it's making the grants to support better healthcare for people who have a combination of medical problems and mental illness and/or addiction. It plans to award more than $3 million to the initiative over the next two years.

Recruiters representing over 70 employers from across the region visited the University of Montana this week.
Alyssa Grant (CC-BY-NC-ND-2)

Hospitals and clinics across Montana have long had a hard time recruiting doctors and nurses to serve the state’s needs. That can be true of other healthcare professions, too, like therapists, pharmacists and technicians. A new analysis this year says demand for healthcare workers in Montana is going to grow by 40 percent in the next 10 years.

Pages