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Healthcare

Healthcare news from Montana Public Radio.

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Widlfire smoke fills the sky in Seeley Lake August  7, 2017.
Eric Whitney

This summer, Missoula County had its worst wildfire smoke season on record. It’s unclear how exactly that impacted the health of county residents, both as the fires were burning and longer term, but researchers are starting to pull in some data.

Late last week Montana’s state health department announced that it’s severing contracts with four non-profit companies that help people with developmental disabilities. That’s due to the reduced state budget enacted by Governor Steve Bullock because of the state bringing in lower than expected revenue.

The health department says the 2,700 clients of those companies who will lose services due to the severed contracts will be taken care of by the department starting this spring.

To learn more about what the cuts mean, MTPR News Director Eric Whitney talked to the CEO of one of the four non-profits.

State budgets.
(PD)

Private contractors who take care of Montanans with developmental disabilities are losing state contracts due to Montana’s budget woes. This means many case managers across the state are losing their jobs, and small town service providers are grappling with how to provide care on a reduced budget.

Western Montana Mental Health Center headquarters in Missoula
Eric Whitney

A federal mediator is stepping in to help arbitrate a dispute between a new union of recently laid-off mental health care workers and their Missoula-based employer.

Today, the union and Western Montana Mental Health Center confirmed they will meet Tuesday.

A group of state lawmakers on Thursday lifted a block on cuts to how much Montana pays doctors and other health professionals who serve Medicaid patients.


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