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Healthcare news from Montana Public Radio.

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Dr. Forest Tennant treats pain patients from all over the country at his practice in West Covina, CA.
Corin Cates-Carney

The medical records of several Montana chronic pain patients were seized last week during a federal raid of a medical clinic in a strip mall in southern California. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration requested a warrant to seize narcotics, payment records, and patient information at the clinic of Doctor Forest Tennant.

Amanda Reese with a naloxone kit. Reese works at Missoula’s Open Aid Alliance, which operates a needle exchange and other health services.
Edward O'Brien

A lifesaving drug that can reverse opioid overdoses is now more widely available in Montana. State health officials today highlighted that, thanks to a new law that went into effect in October.

The law, passed this spring with unanimous support, makes it possible for nearly anyone to get a prescription for the medication, called naloxone. That includes friends and family members of a person at risk of overdose, first responders, and other organizations like needle exchanges.

Montana lawmakers are saying the state health department is making deeper than authorized cuts to rates doctors get paid via Medicaid.

Members of the Children, Families Health and Human Services Interim Committee said Wednesday that state lawmakers only authorized a one percent cut to health care provider pay when they passed a triggered budget-cutting law this spring.

Open enrollment has started for health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. But this year, Montanans hoping get insurance on ACA marketplace will have less time to sign up. The enrollment period for coverage under Affordable Care Act is 6 weeks shorter this year under the Trump administration, than in previous years. 

Montana health experts tell us this year’s flu virus is here early and packs a punch. They say now is the time to get a flu shot.
(PD)

Montana health experts tell us this year’s flu virus is here early and packs a punch. They say now is the time to get a flu shot.

As of October 21, "We have had 42 confirmed cases of influenza," says Montana health department epidemiologist Stacey Anderson.

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