MTPR

Montana Department of Health and Human Services

Mule deer.
(PD)

After discovering what’s believed to be the first case of Chronic Wasting Disease in a wild game animal in Montana Wednesday, state wildlife officials are implementing their response plan.

"We are in the process right now of drawing what we would call an 'initial response area'," says John Vore, the Game Management Bureau Chief for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. "That’s roughly a 10-mile radius around where this animal came from."

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.

The Montana health department is behind schedule in modernizing the state's foster care system. Officials previously said that work would be complete in October. But that didn’t happen. Now, there’s no updated timeline for when the state may upgrade its system for organizing the casework of Montana’s foster kids.

Among the issues plaguing Montana’s foster care system, struggling to keep up with rising caseloads and  high turnover in staff, is an outdated case management system.

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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