A hospital in Bozeman, Montana, is considering whether to add inpatient psychiatric care after a concerted push from mental health advocates. But even if it adds beds, hospitals across Montana provide a cautionary tale: finding enough workers to staff such beds is its own challenge, and some behavioral health units routinely reach capacity.
While many businesses scaled back at the height of the pandemic, one Montana man used covid-19 to open his own mobile pharmacy. He’s now bringing covid shots to Montana’s vaccine deserts while filling his wallet. But he cannot fill all the vaccination gaps.
Amid a surge in covid-19 cases driven by the highly contagious delta variant, nearly 1,500 health systems across the nation are requiring their employees to get vaccinated. In Montana and Oregon, that’s not an option.
Each year, people in pain travel to Montana and pay to sit amid radon gas, which is pitched as therapy for a long list of health issues. While low-dose radiation therapy is getting another look amid the pandemic, experts say that treatment is different than sitting in a tunnel of radioactive gas.
In an ongoing effort to control prescription drug costs, states are targeting the companies that mediate deals among drug manufacturers, health insurers and pharmacies. The pharmacy benefit managers say they negotiate lower prices for patients, yet the nitty-gritty occurs largely behind a curtain that lawmakers are trying to pull back.
Cada vez más terapeutas forman parte de los equipos de emergencia. Y en 2022 habrá una una nueva línea específica para crisis de salud mental: el 988.
More communities are creating teams of health care providers to respond to mental health crises instead of cops, a shift propelled by nationwide demonstrations against police brutality. But the shapes of those mobile crisis response teams vary because the movement is still in an experimental stage.
In one northwestern Montana county where demand for covid vaccines is dropping well before widespread immunity is reached, people are split on whether the virus is a threat.
Of the three covid vaccines the U.S. government has authorized, only one is available to 16- and 17-year-olds: the Pfizer shot. It’s also the most complicated to manage in rural settings, with their small, dispersed populations. That forces some teens and their families to travel long distances for a dose — or go without.
Montana’s overstretched counties and tribal governments have developed a mishmash of policies and plans that require ingenuity and mutual support to work. A reporting project by KHN, Montana Free Press and the University of Montana School of Journalism finds the biggest test of that disparate system looms as vaccine eligibility expands. Plus: a county-by-county guide to vaccine availability in Montana.
Access to physician-assisted death is expanding across the U.S., but the procedure remains in Montana’s legal gray zone more than a decade after the state Supreme Court ruled physicians could use a dying patient’s consent as a defense.
Montana’s pick for health director has garnered both praise and criticism for his past in Kentucky, where he sought to add work requirements to the state’s Medicaid program and was a top health official amid a hepatitis A outbreak.
Montana is one of the latest states looking to aggressively check welfare eligibility to cut costs. Supporters of such steps say it’s about what’s fair — weeding out those who don’t qualify for assistance — while opponents say it will cut loose enrollees who actually need help.
As the newest federally recognized tribe, the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana is starting from scratch to deliver health care to members. While covid-19 has been devastating, it has sped up the tribe’s ability to build a clinic. Yet, lacking a reservation, the tribe faces challenges reaching its scattered members.
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are more likely to have medical conditions that make covid especially dangerous. But a lack of federal tracking means no one knows how many people in disability group housing have fallen ill or died from the virus.
Everyone is trying to figure out how relationships work in the time of covid. That includes a Bozeman, Montana, couple who suddenly found themselves in a long-distance relationship when the pandemic sent their group homes for adults with disabilities into lockdown.
It typically takes years of persuasion to change habits in the name of health safety. Local officials who are stuck with the responsibility of enforcing statewide pandemic-related mandates are trying to transform behavior fast.
Montana is seeking penalties against some businesses that violated its mask and social distancing directives, after months of reluctance to enforce COVID restrictions. Meanwhile, cities, counties and tribal nations still struggle to get people to mask up and avoid crowds.
COVID-19 infections and quarantines are pulling health professionals off the front lines, exacerbating staffing woes that existed in large, rural states well before the pandemic.
As the pandemic continues to cast shadows on everyday life, some candidates for governor are talking about everything except the specifics of how they would manage COVID-19 into the future.