Montana Passes Significant Health Policy Changes in Controversial Session
The recently ended legislative session was marked by Medicaid reimbursement hikes, abortion restrictions, anti-LGBTQ+ statutes, behavioral health spending, and workforce and insurance measures.
Montana Considers Requiring Insurance to Cover Fertility Preservation for Cancer Patients
Young cancer patients must act quickly to preserve their sperm and eggs once they get their diagnosis, and many can’t afford the cost.
Tension Builds in Transgender Policy Debate in Montana
Two transgender lawmakers are trying to lay the groundwork for LGBTQ-friendly policies in a conservative state, but tensions are running high as the legislative session nears its end.
Montana May Require Insurers to Cover Monitoring Devices for Diabetes
Montana is one of several states considering expanding coverage of continuous glucose monitors, but insurance companies and some providers argue that not all people with diabetes need them.
Health Providers Scramble to Keep Remaining Staff Amid Medicaid Rate Debate
The ranks of community-based behavioral health providers in Montana have diminished amid rising costs, greater need, and stagnant Medicaid reimbursement rates. Now, as state lawmakers debate solutions, providers are hoping just to cover their costs.
Montana Considers New Wave of Legislation to Loosen Vaccination Rules
Bills being considered by Montana lawmakers would allow people to refuse routine vaccinations based on their conscience, along with setting new rules for schools, courts, and businesses.
Montana Seeks to Insulate Nursing Homes From Future Financial Crises
Lawmakers are considering creating standards to set Medicaid reimbursement rates. But industry observers wonder whether the move would be too little, too late to bolster a beleaguered industry.
Amid Dire Suicide Rates in Montana, Governor Expands Student Mental Health Screening
Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte announced a $2.1 million grant using federal aid after state lawmakers rejected a bill that would have essentially addressed the same needs of young people at risk of suicide.
Montana Considers Allowing Physician Assistants to Practice Independently
The bill, modeled on laws in North Dakota and Wyoming, is opposed by doctors who say it would let physician assistants practice outside the scope of their training.
Montana Lawmakers Seek More Information About Governor’s HEART Fund
Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte’s Healing and Ending Addiction Through Recovery and Treatment fund has spent $5.2 million since 2021. With a proposed increase, providers and lawmakers alike want to tap into the money.
Montana Pharmacists May Get More Power to Prescribe
Supporters of a proposed law say it would fill a health provider gap in rural areas, while doctors worry it will give pharmacists power outside the scope of their education.
Luring Out-of-State Professionals Is Just the First Step in Solving Montana’s Health Worker Shortage
Two proposals would make it easier for professionals with out-of-state licenses to work in Montana, but that tactic likely won’t be enough to fill the demand for mental health providers.
Ending Involuntary Commitments Would Shift Burden of Dementia Care to Strapped Communities
Health department officials anticipate having to transfer two dozen patients from the Montana State Hospital to another state-run facility if a bill to end involuntary commitments passes.
Medicaid and Abortion Top Health Agenda for Montana Lawmakers
State lawmakers say their health care goals for the new legislative session are to lower costs and improve access to care. They’ll have to grapple with a full slate of other issues, as well.