The Pulse

The Pulse is written by Kristin Gourlay, an award winning health care reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio.

Full archive of The Pulse can be found here.

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The Pulse
2:24 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Where ACA Dollars Have Flowed Into RI

CMS-funded innovation projects are taking place throughout Rhode Island.
Credit Screen shot / Centers for Medicare and Medicaid

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid have announced the second round of Health Care Innovation awards. These are big grants for projects that are trying to reduce the cost of health care and/or improve care delivery, often for some of the sickest or most complicated patients.

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The Pulse
2:51 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Getting The Lead Out: The Law Works, Except When It Doesn't

Cracking lead paint
Credit Bart Everson / Flickr

A law aimed at protecting children from unsafe levels of lead in their homes is working, according to a new study. But only when landlords comply with it.

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The Pulse
11:56 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Beach Bound? Get A Free Skin Cancer Screening

Are you beach bound this weekend? That is, after Hurricane Arthur clears out?

If so, you already know to pack the sunscreen, slather it on (a lot of it, two coats), and reapply after a couple of hours. But here's some more information about why to reapply, which kinds of sunscreens and what SPF are best (and what that means, anyway), and more about the latest developments in sunscreen technology - below.

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The Pulse
3:01 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Local Reactions To The Hobby Lobby Decision

Reactions are still coming in to today's U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of Hobby Lobby (that decision, that the company is not required to cover contraceptives as part of employees' health insurance, can be read here.). Here are a few so far. Keep in mind, more decisions related to this one are expected.

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The Pulse
9:12 pm
Sat June 28, 2014

Measles Resurgence Touches RI; Possible ER Exposure

Measles cases have risen dramatically this year.
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Health officials say several adults may have been exposed to a person with the measles last weekend. The exposure might have happened in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 22nd in the emergency department at Rhode Island Hospital or later that evening in the emergency department at Roger Williams Hospital. Hospital officials say a man later diagnosed with measles presented at Rhode Island Hospital between 3 and 6 in the morning. He left against medical advice. Around 6 pm that evening he went to Roger Williams Hospital with a worsening fever.

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The Pulse
4:21 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Debrief: New Health Laws Address Addiction, Breast Cancer

Another legislative session has wrapped up. Health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joins host Dave Fallon in the studio to talk about how health care fared on Smith Hill.

Here's a transcript of their discussion.

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The Pulse
4:32 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Covering Autism In CT; Mental Health Parity

Connecticut's insurance department has just issued a bulletin that will affect how insurers cover autism - or could. According to this Kaiser Health News story by Michelle Andrews, autism advocates have worked hard over the years to ensure complex conditions like autism get the kind of insurance coverage they need - for long-term behavioral therapy, for example. But now:

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The Pulse
3:21 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Teen Suicide Attempts Up, But Why?

National survey results (officially the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System survey) came out this week showing that, in Rhode Island, teen suicide attempts have nearly doubled over the past decade. Unacceptable.

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The Pulse
12:17 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

RI Teens Making Healthier Choices? That Depends.

It depends on what you define as progress, or on what you define as an acceptable risk.

Every two years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts out results from its latest Youth Risk Behavior Survey, or YRBS. Teens are surveyed about all kinds of risky and healthy behaviors, from how likely they are to wear a bike helmet to whether or not they've eaten fruits or vegetables in the past week, as well as the usual suspects like smoking and unprotected sex.

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The Pulse
1:58 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Have Your Say About Health Insurance Rates

Health insurers have filed their requests for rate increases (or, in one case, decreases!) for the coming year (effective January 2015). The Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner reviews those requests to make sure they're fair, and then issues a ruling, probably by mid-July. Before then, you have an opportunity to weigh in.

Here are the details on those opportunities, plus OHIC's summary of what insurers have requested.

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