Montana Public Radio

Montana Hospital Association

Hospital monitor.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s rural critical access hospitals are struggling as COVID-19 patients fill beds and strain staffing resources. Larger hospitals are at times unable to take patients.

Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
Courtesy Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

Some hospitals and medical facilities in Montana are beginning to again provide elective surgeries and procedures.

Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH) started its phased-approach to providing in-person services Monday. KRH is starting with in-person medical services not requiring anesthesia at various locations.

Hospital monitor.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Hospital Association says it fully supports the Bullock administration’s phased-in approach to rebooting the state’s economy. The hospitals represented by the association are now outlining their plans to resume elective surgical procedures.

Montana Free Press, adapted from CDC

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is ordering the state’s roughly 1 million residents to stay at home, with some exceptions like getting supplies or groceries, seeking medical care or going on a walk. It’s the state’s latest step to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The order starts Saturday March 28 and lasts two weeks until April 10th.

The novel coronavirus.
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

There are currently no reported cases of the new coronavirus in Montana. This, however, may only be temporary. State public health officials say they’re preparing for the worst.

Corin Cates-Carney

While much of the state was enjoying a sunny St. Patrick’s Day, state lawmakers and scores of people concerned about health care spent all day Saturday inside the state Capitol debating two competing visions for the future of Medicaid expansion in Montana.

Montana Hospitals Agree To Help Fund Medicaid Expansion

Feb 8, 2019
Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs.
Courtesy Montana State Hospital

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana hospitals have agreed to pay a fee to help fund Medicaid expansion as the state's share of the cost of the health care coverage increases, an official with the Montana Hospital Association said Thursday.

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.

Groups in support of I-185 held a press conference across from the Capitol in Helena Wednesday, August 22, 2018.
Corin Cates-Carney

A fight backed by hospitals and tobacco companies over an initiative that will appear on Montana ballots this November has amassed more than $2 million. 

Ballot Initiative 185 asks voters to raise taxes on all tobacco products, and for the first time tax e-cigarettes and vaping products, to fund health programs, including the state’s Medicaid expansion.

Kristin Page-Nei, one of the authors of I-185, speaks in support of the initiative in Helena, April 19, 2018. The ballot initiative proposes increasing tobacco taxes to raise money for health care programs, including Medicaid expansion.
Corin-Cates Carney

Montana’s Medicaid expansion program, which provides more than 93,000 people in the state health coverage, expires in just over a year. Campaigns are now underway to stop that from happening and to lobby support for the health care program.

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