Date: September 15 2021

Contact: Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936, (406) 461-3757,
              Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391, (406) 461-8367,

DPHHS Releases Updated Crisis Care Guidance

Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) Director Adam Meier today announced the existing Crisis Care Guidance developed in 2020 has been updated by a diverse working group and endorsed by Governor Greg Gianforte.

The working group consists of medical providers, medical ethicists, disability representatives, emergency preparedness planners, hospital administrators and DPHHS officials. The document was created to ensure the content was Montana-specific by taking into account state-specific resources, populations, and needs.

The group first convened in the spring of 2020 to create consistent guidance for medical providers and staff across the state in the event scarcity involving medical supplies, space and staff were to arise due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The group recently reconvened and made minimal changes to the original version. At the direction of Governor Gianforte, the review was conducted to ensure the information remains relevant and current.

“I appreciate the commitment of these dedicated public servants who have worked tirelessly to ensure this guidance remains current,” Meier said. “The document outlines the Montana response during a crisis care situation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This document is designed to provide consistent guidance for medical providers and staff in situations where certain medical resources become scarce, and prioritization of care may need to be considered. The hope is we never get to this point, but we must be prepared.”

Dr. Nathan Allen of Billings Clinic has been involved in the process from the beginning.

“By endorsing this guidance, Governor Gianforte and DPHHS are providing an important tool for healthcare workers and hospitals in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic and our preparations for all scenarios. This guidance will also help ensure fairness, transparency, and consistency in the delivery of care for all Montanan’s in the event of resource scarcity or crisis care. I encourage healthcare workers and leaders to use these documents in their planning and operational processes to provide the best care possible and to limit the occurrence of crisis care in Montana,” said Nathan Allen, MD, FACEP; Department Chair and Medical Director, Billings Clinic Emergency Department; Medical Director for Healthcare Ethics, Billings Clinic.

Please note the updated guidance is subject to change at any time and any future changes will be made public and posted on the DPHHS website as noted below.

The Crisis Care Guidance documents can be found on the DPHHS website under Resources from DPHHS Partners. Please scroll to the bottom of the page in the drop-down menu section.