Focusing on value-based initiatives to improve Montanans’ health.
We are dedicated to improving the health status of Montanans and to increasing the quality and accessibility of health services for people across the state. Health disparities – defined as the higher rates of illness experienced by certain populations, including socially or economically disadvantaged families, racial and ethnic minorities, children, and older adults – are a focus of this portfolio.
Many communities, particularly in rural Montana, have limited access to health services, and healthcare workforce shortages and budget shortfalls are widespread. In recent years, Montana has seen per capita health spending rise faster than 41 other states. As health care costs continue to rise, there is a need for innovations that improve health outcomes while also helping to contain costs.
Value-based approaches that seek to realign incentives to produce better outcomes have emerged as a priority in Montana. For example, in the HELP Act that expanded Montana’s Medicaid program, the state legislature mandated that the program reduce costs and improve medical outcomes. The Governor’s Council on Healthcare Innovation and Reform also focused on value-based approaches to health care delivery system and payment reform.
We are currently accepting two types of grant proposals in Partnerships for Better Health: competitive grants submitted under the 2018 Call for Proposals and invited grants submitted under our Housing and Health Care Initiative.
Partnerships for Better Health Grantees
Montana Health Justice Partnership - Part 2
Project Term: 24 months; 2017-2019
Grant Amount: $100,000
Montana Legal Services and Montana Primary Care Association partnered in 2015 to create the Montana Health Justice Partnership (see Montana Health Justice Partnership – Part 1). The partnership provides legal assistance to low-income patients in several rural community health centers across the state on issues such as housing in disrepair, medical debt, family violence, denial of senior benefits, employment problems, health care access, and other issues that can have direct and indirect impacts on health. This project will expand the project’s service area to include two additional rural community health centers and will help sustain their activities while they finalize a sustainability plan. Grant funding will be used to add capacity through hiring a part-time paralegal which will allow the program to expand to two additional health care centers, increase capacity, and strengthen effectiveness.
In-Depth Health Care Reporting in Montana
Grant Term: 12 months; 2018-2019
Grant Amount: $10,000
This project will allow the Montana Free Press to research, investigate, report, and publish in-depth stories about health care and health care policy in Montana. Stories will be complemented with video interviews published online and a social media campaign aimed at reaching and engaging key audiences and advancing civic discourse. Grant funding will enable the Montana Free Press editor to travel around the state, interview key stakeholders, and research important issues central to the biggest health care debates facing Montana. The resulting journalism will be a critical source of reliable information for voters and citizens engaging in those debates.
Development of East Helena School-Based Health Center
Grant Term: 12 months; 2018-2019
Grant Amount: $48,527
This planning grant will allow PureView Health Center (PVHC) to plan for the opening of a school-based health center in East Helena. The school-based health center will be created through partnerships with Intermountain Children’s Services (a children’s mental health center), PVHC (a federally qualified health center), and the East Helena School District (a school district that serves 50 percent of children on free or reduced lunch). This grant will allow all three organizations to effectively plan for the construction and service delivery of the clinic including but not limited to: architectural professional services, a site visit to a successful integrated school-based health center, and the development of a business and operational plan.
Health Wealth Service Partnership Pilot Program
Project Term: 12 months; 2018-2019
Grant Amount: $50,000
This pilot program will assess, track, and analyze the link between mental, physical, and financial health. Health centers in Great Falls, Hardin, Miles City, and Ashland will partner with Rural Dynamics and Rural Dynamics Consumer Lending to address outstanding accounts receivable balances. Patient balances will be targeted to increase patient responsibility and financial engagement and will also be used to develop a credit builder loan pool and provide low interest, flexible term credit builder loans, and financial planning and education services. The goal of this project is to develop a health care model that includes financial health and definitively proves the impact of financial instability on physical and mental health.
Montana Oral Health Program
Project Term: 12 months; 2017-2018
Grant Amount: $100,000
This grant will help develop and implement a framework for oral health improvement in Montana. The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services has already begun to develop a statewide framework to improve oral health, and in the fall of 2016, they held a Dental Action Summit which brought together 34 oral health stakeholders to establish strategic direction in addressing oral health disparities. Grant funding will allow the state to make progress on priority areas that were identified including: improving community-level outreach and technical support for water fluoridation and dental sealants, developing a dental health workforce plan that includes in-depth examination of dental therapists to expand access to care, collecting and disseminating timely surveillance on oral health outcomes, and conducting a demonstration project that would provide case management through a “dental home” model for Medicaid-enrolled children to increase access to effective care.
2018 Call for Proposals
Find out about this year’s available grants.