Innovating Pediatric Care: Montana Pediatrics Paves the Way for After-Hours Access

January 2024

article by hannah olson | photos courtesy of Montana Pediatrics

Progress often stems from a dissatisfaction with the status quo, a sentiment particularly resonant in the healthcare sector. Movers and shakers throughout Montana are uniting to redefine the healthcare experience, and at the forefront of this transformation is Montana Pediatrics. The challenges parents face in terms of affordable, accessible, and high-quality healthcare for their children, compounded by restricted hours, are all too familiar. When a child falls ill, parents are frequently left with limited options that hinge on outdated phone calls with providers or expensive, fragmented emergency room or urgent care visits. 

Realizing this lack of quality, accessible, after-hours pediatric care, Montana Pediatrics has taken a proactive stance to address this issue head-on by forging a collaborative approach to pediatric care that embraces technology and community spirit. Their mission is clear: no Montana family should face the worry of their child's health alone. Through a team of dedicated Montana-based pediatric providers, Montana Pediatrics is reshaping the landscape of pediatric care accessibility, ensuring Montana families have consistent round-the-clock access to pediatric-specific providers. This exclusively virtual model opens doors and provides care to even the most remote communities. 

A Collective Vision for Montana Families 

​ Montana Pediatrics, as a non-profit organization, was born out of the pressing need to address the multitude of challenges faced by families in accessing pediatric care, especially during nights and weekends when traditional primary care offices are closed. The struggle for parents is all too real: limited options result in costly Emergency Room and Urgent Care visits, which are not universally available 24/7. Moreover, families in rural communities often grapple with a scarcity of pediatric specialists, exacerbating the already limited access to pediatric-specific care. 

Adding to the complexity is the emergence of out-of-state telemedicine companies attempting to cater to families. These companies, while offering telehealth solutions, often lack a nuanced understanding of local services, access points, and the unique healthcare landscape of the state of Montana. This poses a threat to the continuity and quality of care, as these out-of-state entities may be disconnected from the intricate web of resources available locally. 

Faced with these challenges, a dedicated and innovative group of pediatric providers within Montana Pediatrics recognized the need for a comprehensive solution. Their vision revolves around synergizing the capabilities of telemedicine with the invaluable local knowledge and resources inherent in Montana's communities. By doing so, Montana Pediatrics aims not only to provide immediate relief for families in urgent situations but also to foster a sustainable, locally grounded approach to pediatric care that bridges the existing gaps in accessibility and ensures continuity of service, particularly in underserved rural areas. 

With secure and user-friendly technology at the heart of every after-hours telemedicine visit, families can receive timely, effective, and safe healthcare services wherever they are. Most importantly, Montana Pediatrics is dedicated to keeping every child’s primary care provider in the loop, updating them promptly with visit notes, ensuring continuity of care and communication, and assisting in coordinating follow-up visits should additional care be needed beyond the telemedicine visit. 

The providers at Montana Pediatrics are a group of Montana-based pediatricians who share a common belief in providing the best access to care for Montana's children. With a focus on continuity of care and supporting a child's own doctor, this team is united in the mission to improve access to healthcare and health equity for all children in the state. This often means being committed to being available when families need them, seeing patients from birth up to 22 years old.  

While the hope is that emergency department referrals are rare, Montana Pediatrics ensures a seamless transition if it becomes necessary. Providers will contact the directed ER department, making them aware of the situation and providing them with a pediatric-specific recommendation or treatment plan.  

Costs and Insurance 

Understanding the economic diversity of Montana, Montana Pediatrics believes that every child in the state deserves high-quality pediatric care. They strive to accept all insurance plans in the state, including Medicaid, and generally align visit costs with what one would pay for an uncomplicated in-office visit. For those without insurance or Medicaid, there are low cash pay options as well. 

Aligned with this, Montana Pediatrics caregiver should never be concerned about paying for care for their child. For any family facing financial constraints or concerns over the ability to pay, a generous Financial Assistance Policy is in place to reduce or eliminate the bill with a short form that can be easily completed on their website. 

In essence, Montana Pediatrics is a key support to primary healthcare providers and a truly community-driven initiative that places the well-being of Montana's children at the forefront. Through collaboration, technology, and a commitment to inclusivity, they are breaking down barriers to ensure that every child, no matter where they live or their economic circumstances, has access to high-quality pediatric care.  

Families can make an account and request a visit at 

Originally printed in the January 2024 issue of Simply Local Magazine

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