Latest health Reporting

Montana wants to expand institutional mental health and addiction treatment. What’s the downside? 

In July, the federal government authorized Montana to use Medicaid coverage at large inpatient addiction treatment facilities. But health authorities also delivered a significant set-back for the state’s overall plan: they would not allow Medicaid to cover treatments at large hospitals that handle serious mental illnesses, including the problem-plagued Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs.

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MORE HEALTH REPORTING

Following tour, lawmakers press Meier on solutions for troubled state hospital

State lawmakers on Friday reiterated their calls for urgent reforms at Montana’s adult psychiatric hospital in Warm Springs, which has long struggled with insufficient staffing and resources — problems that have resulted in patient falls, deaths and loss of federal funding within the last year.

Abortion politics lead to power struggles over family planning grants 

Montana is the latest example of an ongoing power struggle between nonprofits and conservative-leaning states over who receives federal family planning money. That has intensified in recent years as the Title X program has increasingly become entangled with the politics of abortion.

Montana’s rolled-back public health powers leave some areas in limbo

Montana lawmakers stripped authority from local health boards last year when blowback against COVID prevention measures was at its peak. But a year later, there are ongoing power struggles between cities and counties over the law, and public health officers have been left to wonder to whom they answer.

Biden administration announces boost for rural health care in midterm election push

The announcement is part of Biden’s recently launched rural push as the midterm election season ramps up. Leading Democrats have said their party can’t afford to lose more rural voters if they want to keep control of the Senate. But political analysts are doubtful whether this rural tour will be enough to bring back the…

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