Montana Public Radio

Montana Hospital Association

Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade

Last week, several Montana hospitals were graded on patient outcomes and safety measures by the nonprofit group Leapfrog. Most hospitals scored well, but other Leapfrog grades show room for improvement.

Montana lawmakers have accepted Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte’s changes to a bill preventing businesses and government agencies from denying people services or employment because of vaccination status. The president of the Montana Hospital Association remains worried the policy will upend provider safety procedures.

Marilyn Bartlett might be the closest thing health policy has to a folk hero. A certified public accountant who barely tops five feet, Bartlett bears zero resemblance to Paul Bunyan. But she did take an ax to Montana’s hospital prices in 2016, stopping the state’s employee health plan from bleeding money.

“Marilyn is not a physically imposing person,” said Montana Board of Investments Executive Director Dan Villa, who worked closely with Bartlett in state government. “She is a blend of your favorite aunt, an accounting savant and a little bit of July Fourth fireworks.”

Montana’s Mask Mandate In Doubt With Incoming Governor

Dec 21, 2020
State Capitol, Helena
Jacob Baynham / Community News Service, UM School of Journalism

HELENA, Mont. — Incoming Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signaled he won’t continue a statewide mask mandate in place since July, though he said he plans to wear a mask himself and get vaccinated against COVID-19.

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.

Pages