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.

Funding Opportunities

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 Healthcare Initiative.

Housing and Healthcare

Implementation of Value-Based Care

Our Work in Partnerships for Better Health

Partnerships for Better Health Grantees

MT Children's Health Data

Montana Children's Health Data Partnership Project

Project Term: 12 months; Dec 2017 – Nov 2018
Grant Amount: $50,000

This project seeks to advance a statewide framework to address key determinants of health for children in Montana by collaborating with public and private sector practitioners to develop benchmarks that will guide and support community coalitions around the state. Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies currently works with 20 early childhood coalitions around Montana, all of which have varying levels of capacity and often unique but related goals and strategies. This project will partner with the Montana Early Childhood Coalition to support local and regional networks and coalitions and allow them to apply a collective impact framework that relies on mutually agreed-upon priorities and metrics that can be used to jointly plan efforts to address key health determinants and to measure outcomes.

Hays Lodgepole School District 50

Fort Belknap Indian Community Homeless Youth Feasibility Study

Project Term: 12 months; Aug 2017 – Jul 2018
Grant Amount: $49,000

The Hays-Lodgepole Public School and the Fort Belknap Indian Community Council will assess the feasibility of designing, constructing, operating, and facilitating housing and supportive services to improve health and education outcomes for homeless youth on the Fort Belknap Reservation. By coordinating with other community organizations and tribal departments, this project will analyze housing and care needs, investigate successful housing and service coordination models, and identify potential funding sources for constructing and operating a shelter. With proper planning, the school and community hope to coordinate services to meet basic needs and provide a solid foundation that will improve education outcomes, personal health, and future success.

Richland County Health Department

Connecting Resources for Emotional Wellness

Project Term: 12 months; Aug 2017 – Jul 2018
Grant Amount: $28,328

This project will use an innovative strategy to address the upstream risk factors contributing to poor emotional health and the consequent occurrence of mental health crises. Using an Emergency Preparedness Tabletop Exercise Model, Richland County will bring together multiple agency stakeholders to identify resources and gaps in support services. A map identifying “opportunities of interception” will be created and processes will be developed to intervene and improve individual emotional wellness. Also, areas or services that could be supported by partners to reduce the overall cost of mental health crisis will be identified. This project will initiate the creation of a toolbox that will allow the project to be replicated easily in other communities.

Cabinet Peaks Medical Center Foundation

Enhanced Transition of Care Involving All Aspects of Wellness for the Residents of Lincoln County

Project Term: 12 months; Apr 2017 – Mar 2018
Grant Amount: $44,236

This project will develop a new approach to discharge planning for hospitalized patients that systematically identifies and addresses the social factors that influence outcomes, such as the ability to afford home heating, food, housing, and medications. The hospital will develop a discharge planning tool that identifies these needs and will work with local clinics, and local aid and social service agencies to provide a safety net of services for patients in need at the time of discharge. The project seeks to reduce readmissions related to socioeconomic barriers to health and to increase the acuity of patients seen in the emergency department as well as utilization of local clinics for outpatient care.

Community Health Partners

Park County Connect Program: A Community-Based Model to Reduce ER High-Utilization

Project Term: 24 months; Ended 2017
Grant Amount: $93,000

High utilizers of the emergency department drive up costs unnecessarily and are not entering the healthcare system at an access point that is prepared to address their underlying needs. In an effort to improve care and health outcomes while lowering unnecessary costs to our healthcare system, Community Health Partners, the Park County Health Department, Livingston Mental Health Center and Livingston HealthCare have partnered to create the Park County Connect Program. Funds will support a social worker housed in the health department who will design and implement a community-based outreach program for existing emergency department high utilizers and those members of the community at risk for unnecessary utilization of the emergency department. The social worker will coordinate partner organizations to develop referral and tracking systems to ensure that interventions are documented and communicated, enhancing care coordination and improving outcomes. Performance indicators will be identified at both the patient and community level, and all partners will contribute data to the program evaluation process. This two-year project aims to identify relatively simple interventions that can positively affect overall community health and well-being using a model that could be easily replicated in other rural communities.

2018 Call for Proposals

Find out about this year’s available grants.