Health and human services at the legislative halftime

Health and human services topics spread to nearly every corner of the state Capitol during the first half of the 68th Legislature. Lawmakers have advanced and sidelined bills influencing the future of Medicaid, abortion, and child welfare. Here’s where things stand at the Legislature’s midpoint.

Latest health Reporting

Billings, Kalispell hospitals explore potential merger

Officials said they had signed a “non-binding letter of intent” to explore the unification of the two systems. If everything goes according to plan, a definitive agreement would be in hand by this spring and the merger could be approved by the Federal Trade Commission this summer.


Pulsar # por Español 

El laboratorio fue construido por la profesora asistente Dra. Sally Moyce, y incluye un equipo interdisciplinario de investigadores trabajando por luchar contra las disparidades de salud en la comunidad latina de Gallatin County, una población que ha crecido muchísimo en los últimos años.

Push # for Spanish

The lab was created by assistant professor Dr. Sally Moyce and includes an interdisciplinary group of researchers working to address health disparities in the Latino community in Gallatin County, a population that has increased dramatically in recent years.

License to heal

Proposals before state lawmakers aim to make it easier for professionals with out-of-state licenses to work in Montana, but they likely won’t be enough to fill the demand for mental health providers.

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How an Obamacare remnant survives and prospers in Montana

As health-insurance cooperatives created by “Obamacare” collapsed like dominoes in the mid-2010s, the Montana co-op faced its own multimillion-dollar chasm, created by an obscure political deal in Washington, D.C. But the Helena-based Mountain Health Co-op scratched out a $15 million loan to stay afloat — and this month hit its highest customer numbers ever, as…

Ending involuntary commitments would shift burdens to strapped communities

State lawmakers from both parties have shown support for a plan to stop the practice of committing people with Alzheimer’s disease, other types of dementia, or traumatic brain injuries without their consent to the troubled Montana State Hospital and instead direct them to treatment in their communities.

Dozens testify against new rules for Medicaid-eligible abortions

Medical providers, former patients and other opponents presented a wave of testimony Thursday against the state health department’s proposed rule change that would add requirements for an abortion to be covered by Medicaid, including submitting patient medical information to prove a procedure is medically necessary.

Senior care providers urge Montana lawmakers to boost Medicaid rates

Advocates for senior services, assisted living facilities and nursing homes packed a hearing room in the state Capitol Thursday, imploring lawmakers to increase Medicaid payment rates or else watch the already wounded industry buckle in coming months and years.


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