Articles written by Mara Silvers

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 By Mara Silvers    News    September 6, 2023

Officials urge mosquito caution as recorded West Nile Virus cases rise

State and local health officials are urging Montanans to protect themselves from mosquito bites as the state health department identifies more cases of West Nile Virus in several counties. Seven... Full story

 By Mara Silvers    News    August 16, 2023

Federal regulators ag 'concerns' as Montana cuts Medicaid rolls

Federal regulators are urging Montana health officials to fix shortcomings in the state's Medicaid redetermination process, expressing "concerns" that the state may be disenrolling people who are... Full story

 By Mara Silvers    News    August 2, 2023

More Montanans lose Medicaid coverage as reevaluations continue

Montana health officials ended Medicaid health insurance coverage for 19,244 people in May, bringing the total number of people removed from the public health program up to 34,204 since the state began reevaluating enrollee eligibility in April ...

 By Mara Silvers    News    June 28, 2023

Almost half of Medicaid recipients reviewed in April lost coverage

Nearly half of Montanans whose Medicaid eligibility was reviewed in April lost coverage, according to new information published last week by the state health department. In total, 15,471 Montanans assessed in April had their Medicaid coverage... Full story

 By Mara Silvers    News    June 21, 2023

Gianforte signs state budget, boosting Medicaid reimbursements by hundreds of millions

Gov. Greg Gianforte last week announced signing the state's roughly $14.3 billion primary budget bill, creating a roadmap for funding state government for the next two years and substantially... Full story

 By Mara Silvers    News    January 18, 2023

Senior care providers, urge Montana lawmakers to boost Medicaid rates

Advocates for senior services, assisted living facilities and nursing homes packed a hearing room in the state Capitol Thursday, imploring lawmakers to increase Medicaid payment rates or else watch the already wounded industry buckle in coming... Full story

 By Mara Silvers    News    January 4, 2023

Montana Health department proposes new requirements for Medicaid abortion coverage

This week MTFP obtained a copy of a proposed rule change from the Department of Public Health and Human Services that would add layers of red tape for low-income Montanans seeking Medicaid coverage fo... Full story

 By Mara Silvers    News    December 21, 2022

Federal judge strikes down Montana vaccine choice law in health settings

A federal judge in the U.S. District of Montana recently ruled that Montana's law barring discrimination based on vaccine status is unconstitutional and preempted by federal law as it applies to healthcare settings, bringing a resolution to a lawsuit... Full story

 By Mara Silvers    News    March 23, 2022

Congressional races up and running

Candidates running for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives have officially filed their requisite paperwork as of 5 p.m. Monday, bringing the tally of active candidates up to nine Republicans, six Democrats, four Libertarians and one... Full story

 By Mara Silvers    News    January 19, 2022

Gallatin County ends decade-long contract with Western Montana Mental Health

One of Montana’s leading providers of behavioral health services will no longer have an operating contract with Gallatin County as of Feb. 2.  Citing several breaches of its agreement, Gallatin County Commissioners and County Attorney Marty...

 By Mara Silvers    News    November 24, 2021

Montana files third challenge to federal vaccine mandates

Montana last week filed its third lawsuit against the Biden administration's federal vaccine requirements, joining several other Republican-led states in challenging the White House's efforts to...

 By Mara Silvers    News    October 13, 2021

Bozeman Health presents roadmap for inpatient psychiatric unit

Bozeman Health, the dominant medical care provider in Montana's most rapidly growing region, has announced plans to develop a 12-bed adult inpatient psychiatric unit at Deaconess Hospital by 2023,... Full story


In a community with an abundance of wealth, mental health options still scarce

In June, the median price for a single-family home in Gallatin County was $702,000, an increase of nearly 54% from the previous year. According to census data from 2019, nearly 21% of the county's...

 By Mara Silvers    News    June 2, 2021

Judge temporarily halts campus carry bill

HELENA — A district court judge on Friday temporarily enjoined the enforcement date of House Bill 102, the bill that would expand permissions for concealed carry firearms on campus starting June 1....

 By Mara Silvers    News    March 24, 2021

State to expand vaccine eligibility to residents 16 and older

HELENA - After months of calculated and incremental expansions in vaccine eligibility, all Montanans 16 and older will be allowed to sign up to receive inoculations beginning April 1.  The Tuesday announcement by Gov. Greg Gianforte was prompted in... Full story

 By Mara Silvers    News    March 17, 2021

Can Montana get a grip on addiction?

In late January, when Mary Windecker got up to testify in front of the budget committee considering how to fund Montana’s addiction and mental health treatment programs, her words cut through a typically bureaucratic proceeding to present an...


2021 Legislature convenes in a crowded Capitol

HELENA - Members of the House and Senate kicked off the 2021 Legislature in person at the state Capitol on Monday, formally convening and electing leadership for what may be a turbulent 90-day session during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawmakers took... Full story

 By Mara Silvers    News    December 23, 2020

'We're getting there': Health care workers are first in line as Montanans receive initial round of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine

HELENA - At St. Peter's Health in Helena, many doctors and medical staff spent the beginning of this week eagerly preparing for a pivotal moment. On Wednesday and Thursday of last week, the hospital...

 By Mara Silvers    News    December 16, 2020

Montana prepares for initial COVID-19 vaccinations

When 9,750 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrive in Montana as early as this week, the delivery will mark the beginning of a complex distribution plan organized by public health officials,...

 By Mara Silvers    News    December 16, 2020

Lawmakers continue rules debate

HELENA - Lawmakers who sit on the House and Senate rules committees convened virtually and at the state Capitol this week to debate how the upcoming legislative session should operate as COVID-19...


Lawmakers spar over legislative rules

HELENA — Republican lawmakers from the Joint Senate and House Rules Committee met last Thursday in an unusual effort to propose changes to legislative rules before the 2021 session. Democratic lawmakers boycotted the meeting, insisting that it was...


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