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
4:40 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Legalize Marijuana? Brown Asks Medical, Legal Experts To Weigh In

Brown University hosts a forum Tuesday on legalizing marijuana. The event will feature doctors and researchers with perspective on the health effects of marijuana. Other experts will discuss public safety issues and the cost of regulating and taxing marijuana.

The forum comes as Rhode Island lawmakers consider once again whether to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Proponents say it will make marijuana sales safer and reduce unnecessary jail time. Opponents point to the adverse health effects of marijuana, including the potential for addiction.

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The Pulse
4:28 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Lifespan Mum On Medicaid Cuts; Waiting For Details Of Incentive Plan

As Gov. Gina Raimondo's "Reinvent Medicaid" task force rockets toward the finish line, having recently spelled out more details about how the group recommends finding nearly $90 million dollars in savings from the program, they bring with them plenty of vocal feedback from health care stakeholders around the state. One hospital system, Care New England, has been a more dominant voice at the table, with the group's leader, Dennis Keefe, co-chairing the task force. The voice of the state's largest hospital system, Lifespan, has been less audible.

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The Pulse
4:11 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Medicaid Cuts: A First Look At Where They'll Come From

Members of Gov. Gina Raimondo's Reinvent Medicaid task force huddled for hours Wednesday to go over nearly three dozen initiatives designed to save Medicaid money. Their goal: find $90 million dollars in savings for Medicaid, the state's medical assistance program for the poor.

Here's a run down of where the effort is headed, straight from the fourth floor board room at CCRI in Warwick, where the meeting was held.

As anticipated, the biggest savings are projected to come from institutional health care providers.

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The Pulse
1:14 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Donate Life, And More Ways to Help Others Live Healthier

In honor of Donate Life month (a yearly celebration of organ donors and recipients), I thought I'd offer a few suggestions for helping someone else lead a healthy life in Rhode Island, including how to donate organs and tissue.

But first, some facts:

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The Pulse
5:08 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Tripling In Teen E-Cigarette Use: Reason To Worry?

At the Providence Place mall, an island displays e-cigarette wares for sale, promoting the benefits for quitting smoking.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that the trend in smoking traditional cigarettes among teens is down. That's great news on many levels. But as traditional cigarette smoking has declined, the use of electronic cigarettes has tripled over the past few years.

Wondering whether to worry? Or even what the heck an e-cigarette actually is? I've been combing the latest research to help answer those questions.

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