Kristin Gourlay

Health Care Reporter

Kristin Espeland Gourlay joined Rhode Island Public Radio in July 2012. Before arriving in Providence, Gourlay covered the environment for Louisville, KY’s NPR station. And prior to that, she was a reporter and host for Wyoming Public Radio.

Gourlay earned her MS from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and her BA in anthropology from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR.

She’s won multiple national, regional, and local awards for her reporting, and her work has aired on NPR and stations throughout the country. She’s particularly proud of the variety of protective clothing she’s had to wear on assignment, including helmets, waders, safety goggles, and snowshoes.

Originally from Chicago, IL, Gourlay loves music, cooking, and spending time with her family.

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Health Care
4:52 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Kids Count Says RIte Care Works, But Improvements Needed

Rhode Island Kids Count found kids enrolled in the health insurance program for low-income children and families have better access to preventative health care. The new study on RIte Care comes on the program’s 20th anniversary.

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The Pulse
11:39 am
Fri November 21, 2014

At The Crossroads: How Will Medicare Grapple With Hep C?

My recent story about the high cost of new hepatitis C treatments focused on the difficulty of deciding who gets these new drugs now and who has to wait. That's because, while new drugs like Sovaldi and Harvoni (both made by Gilead) promise to cure a lot of people, they're so expensive we simply couldn't afford to treat everyone who's infected right now.

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The Pulse
11:14 am
Thu November 20, 2014

HealthSource RI Rhetoric Heats Up

HealthSource RI director Christine Ferguson has penned an op-ed in the Providence Journal to plead her case for keeping the health insurance exchange in local hands. Her commentary comes days after a Projo editorial arguing the state should scrap its exchange.

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Health Care
6:05 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Deductibles, Co-Pays Forcing Patients To Put Off Treatment

Health care providers say their patients can’t afford the co-pays and deductibles in their new health insurance plans. A special Rhode Island senate commission met with providers Wednesday to learn more. David Spencer is head of the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Association of Rhode Island. He said the patients struggling with costs are primarily those with plans from the state’s online health insurance exchange.

“What’s happening is a lot of these individuals are not following through on treatment, dropping out," said Spencer.

Health Care
6:00 am
Thu November 20, 2014

At The Crossroads, Part 4: New Hep C Drugs Promise A Cure, For A Big Price

The FDA has approved dozens of so-called specialty drugs recently. Most are costlier than standard treatments, and most target a relatively small patient population suffering from a rare condition. But hepatitis C is far from rare.
Credit Jake Harper / RIPR

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the discovery of the hepatitis C virus. Since then, people with hepatitis C have had limited – and not very effective – options for treatment.

Until now.

Revolutionary new treatments have hit the market in just the last few months. But they’re so expensive health insurers are balking at the price.

Part four of our series “At the Crossroads: The Rise of Hepatitis C and the Fight to Stop it” looks at the high cost of these new treatments and who’s paying for them.

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Health Care
3:07 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

HealthSource RI Enrollment Smooth, Some Waiting

Enrollment on the state’s health insurance marketplace Health Source R-I is going relatively smoothly. This is the second enrollment period since it opened last year.

Health Source RI spokeswoman Maria Tocco says there were some minor issues with the web site and the call center phones but they were addressed quickly. Wait times swelled over the weekend and some scheduled appointments for hours later.

Data on the number of individual and family enrollments so far are expected toward the end of this week.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Second Open Enrollment Begins On HealthSource RI

Healthsource RI

Today marks the beginning of open enrollment for HealthSource RI, the state’s online health insurance marketplace. It’s the second enrollment period for the exchange. Plus, there have been some changes.

It’s open enrollment now for individuals and families who don’t have health insurance or need to renew a plan they bought on Health Source the last time around. Enrollment is open through February 15. Plans bought on the exchange last year will not automatically renew.

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Health Care
2:07 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Community Health Centers Join Ebola Preparations

Hospitals have gotten most of the attention when it comes to Ebola preparedness. But at a recent hearing for state lawmakers, questions were raised about the readiness of community-based health care providers to deal with the threat. 

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The Pulse
12:22 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Health Dept. Releases Ebola Emergency Plan

An Ebola prep cart, with personal protective equipment, at Rhode Island Hospital.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island health officials have unveiled the state’s Ebola emergency response plan. The plan spells out the steps state agencies will take to handle potential cases.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Debrief: What's New On HealthSource RI? Plans, Premiums, and More Uncertainty

Healthsource RI reopens for enrollment November.

This Saturday the state’s online health insurance marketplace, Health Source RI, opens for enrollment. It’s the second open enrollment period since HealthSource launched. This year there a couple of changes.

HealthSource faces an uncertain future in Rhode Island as we have a new governor and funding for the exchange runs out at the end of 2015.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joins host Elisabeth Harrison to talk about what’s new on HealthSource this year, and what to make of the uncertainty.

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