Know-how gained through the covid pandemic is seeping into other public health areas. But in a nation that has chronically underfunded its public health system, it’s hard to know which changes will stick.
When criminal suspects are deemed too mentally ill to go through the court process and their charges are dropped, they can be left without stabilizing treatment — and sometimes end up being charged with additional crimes.
Montana is an island of legal abortion, but three of the state’s five clinics are limiting access to abortion pills for out-of-state patients in an effort to protect themselves and patients from legal attacks.
Residents of a Butte neighborhood are concerned about the dust from a nearby open-pit mine that can coat their homes and vehicles. In a city where past mining left a legacy of soil and water pollution, is the air unsafe, too?
Montana, one of about a dozen states still managing its own Medicaid programs, has a new Medicaid director who championed handing the management of the program to private companies in Iowa and Kansas.
Conservative-leaning states and nonprofit reproductive health care providers are competing over control of states’ Title X funding for family planning programs.
Montana lawmakers stripped authority from local health boards, leading to power struggles between cities and counties and leaving public health officers to wonder to whom they answer.
President Joe Biden’s Cabinet members are fanning out across the country to promote benefits coming to rural America from covid relief and infrastructure legislation.
Emergency medical services are a lifeline in regions with scarce medical care. But paramedics, trained to respond to patients with life-threatening injuries, are in short supply where they’re needed most.
A backlog at Montana’s psychiatric hospital for those facing criminal charges has left people with serious mental illness behind bars for months without adequate treatment. In some cases, judges have freed defendants over due-process violations.
Montanans engage in plenty of spirited political disagreements. But debates about covid-19, public health, and personal liberties have reached a fever pitch, tugging at tightknit towns and making some residents wonder how their communities will survive.
Officials testing water found high lead levels in more than 100 of the state’s nearly 600 school buildings. But as of mid-February, half the state’s schools had yet to provide samples.
Montana has yet to start spending nearly $2.5 million in federal aid to boost covid detection and mitigation in the state’s prison and jails.
The omicron variant upended a system in which states shared rapid covid tests with those that needed them more. Cooperation has turned into competition as states run out of supplies, limit which organizations get them, or hold on to expired kits as a last resort.
The Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana plans to open the nation’s newest Indian Health Service clinic in Great Falls on Jan. 31 — marking the first time the tribe will have its culture reflected in health care offerings.
Public health officials and policymakers alike see rapid antigen tests as a strong tool to keep businesses open and parents working. But a look at Montana’s distribution of the tests shows a patchwork system with limited access for many.
Montana nonprofit hospitals receive millions of dollars in tax exemptions as charities each year in exchange for giving back to their communities. A KHN review found that some of Montana’s richest medical centers are falling behind most state and national hospitals.
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.