Montana Public Radio

Sheila Hogan


Montana’s health department distributed between $84 million and $163 million in Medicaid and Child Health Insurance Program benefits to people ineligible for those programs, according to an audit presented to lawmakers June 16. State officials emphatically reject several of the audit’s key findings.

State health department officials gave legislators an update Monday on the agency’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials say that response has a lot of moving pieces, but they’re learning fast and keeping pace.

Montana’s June 2 primary election is less than a month off, and candidates are busy carving out positions, and campaigning as best they can during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of them participated in last Thursday's online forum discussing what health care providers say is the state’s rapidly deteriorating behavioral health system.

The state health department is changing how its programs for kids and families collaborate. Health officials announced Friday those services will now fall under the new Early Childhood and Family Support Division. 

 

Montana has been awarded a $10 million federal grant to improve the health outcomes for pregnant and postpartum women in rural Montana. 

(PD)

Montana healthcare professionals met this week to discuss how to support a person’s physical and mental health in the midst of reduced services.

Aaron Wernham is a family physician and CEO of the Montana Healthcare Foundation.

He says the idea of bringing behavioral health care providers into primary care practices in Montana started about 10 years ago.

What does it look like for a patient or for a healthcare provider on the ground?

A new report says Montana could save money on Medicaid by providing housing and support services to homeless people.

State Budget Director Tom Livers speaks during a House Appropriations hearing on March 7, 2019.  Gov. Steve Bullock's administration opposes some of the Legislature's proposed eliminations in vacant state job positions.
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

Gov. Steve Bullock’s administration is objecting to the Legislature’s initial plan to cut funding for around 230 open job positions across Montana government in the next state budget.

The state’s $4.3 billion general fund budget is first up for debate as lawmakers arrive back in Helena for the second half of the 2019 legislative session.

Montana Child and Family Services sign in Helena, MT.
Bree Zender

State health officials say Montana needs to continue a boost in funding to deal with the heavy caseload in the foster child system.

The increasing number of children entering Montana’s foster care system is stabilizing after a spike in recent years, according to the Department of Public Health and Human Services.

The rising number of children entering Montana’s foster care system appears to be slowing after years of sharp increases that burdened the state justice system and the caseload of health department workers.

According to the Department of Public Health and Human Services, the increase in the number of kids in foster care is stabilizing after doubling over the last decade.

Pages