Rosendale proposes making telehealth for Medicare a permanent option

BY: - July 22, 2021

A lot of facets of everyday life were disrupted during the COVID pandemic. However, one of the things that seemed to work and may be here to stay is telehealth. And Congressman Matt Rosendale, R-Montana, has introduced legislation that makes telehealth visits for behavioral health and counseling a permanent part of Medicare. Telehealth, especially for […]

As pandemic eases, seniors need more strength and rehab

BY: - June 29, 2021

Ronald Lundquist, 87, has been active all his life. So, he wasn’t prepared for what happened when he stopped going out during the coronavirus pandemic and spent most of his time, inactive, at home. “I found it hard to get up and get out of bed,” said Lundquist, who lives with his wife of 67 […]

New legislation aims to boost number of rural, ‘frontier’ doctors

BY: - June 18, 2021

Montana’s shortage of doctors and nurses has been well documented and almost as constant as the unpredictable weather in the state. However, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester has introduced legislation that could make a substantial difference in the number of doctors being trained in Montana’s frontier medical centers. The problem is simply stated: Montana needs more […]

New poll shows Montana support for relief, infrastructure, senior care

BY: - May 26, 2021

New polling data by a statewide group dedicated to senior issues shows popular support for much of the relief effort championed by Congress and President Joseph Biden. Big Sky 55+ sponsored the poll conducted by Data for Progress, which surveyed 723 likely voters, with more conservatives than liberals. Big Sky 55+ is a nonpartisan nonprofit […]

That’s a wrap: 67th Legislature is in the book

BY: , , and - May 2, 2021

“The End” — not typically how news stories start, but the end came for the 67th Legislature, and by most accounts, it was one of the most memorable and consequential in the state’s history as a Republican supermajority swept into office, including capturing the governor’s chair. Because of the overwhelming number of Republicans, free to […]

Democrats eye Medicare drug negotiations to lower prices

BY: - April 17, 2021

Democrats, newly in control of Congress and the White House, are united behind an idea that Republican lawmakers and major drugmakers fiercely oppose: Empowering the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate the prices of brand-name drugs covered by Medicare. But they do not have enough votes without Republican support in the Senate for […]

Same surgery, same place, different bill with Medicare

BY: - April 15, 2021

A cost-saving change in Medicare launched in the final days of the Trump administration will cut payments to hospitals for some surgical procedures while potentially raising costs and confusion for patients. For years, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services classified 1,740 surgeries and other services so risky for older adults that Medicare would pay […]

Montana’s health policy maven takes her playbook on the road

BY: and - February 18, 2021

Marilyn Bartlett might be the closest thing health policy has to a folk hero. A certified public accountant who barely tops 5 feet, Bartlett bears zero resemblance to Paul Bunyan. But she did take an ax to Montana’s hospital prices in 2016, stopping the state’s employee health plan from bleeding money. “Marilyn is not a […]