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
1:00 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Is Your Hospital Safe?

Here's a new online tool to help you decide: www.hospitalinspections.org.

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The Pulse
5:48 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Should Smokers Pay More for Health Insurance?

Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurers will be able to charge smokers up to 50% more than non-smokers for health insurance. Fair or not, a Politico article points out how difficult that policy might be to enforce - and not simply because smokers could lie. For instance:

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The Pulse
1:36 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Landmark Appoints Medical Director; Still Waiting on Prime

Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Woonsocket’s Landmark Medical Center has appointed a new medical director.

Dr. Glenn Fort has been a member of Landmark’s staff for nearly 25 years, most recently as the head of medical staff. Now, he’ll oversee and coordinate medical care and be the link between medical staff and the hospital’s senior management, including the Special Master. Fort specializes in infectious disease and has additional training in public health.

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The Pulse
5:00 am
Tue February 19, 2013

How the Affordable Care Act could affect RI insurance rates

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one of the biggest things to hit health care in decades. And you might already have started to feel its effects on your own health care - from no-cost preventative services to the ability to keep kids on your health insurance plan longer.

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The Pulse
11:10 am
Wed February 13, 2013

What it meant: health care in the State of the Union

In last night's State of the Union address, President Barack Obama mentioned health care five times (by my count). One, later in the address, referred to making sure military veterans get the mental health care they need. The other mentions had to do with Medicare: as the nation ages, it's the biggest contributor to our nation's deficit.

Here's what he said:

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The Pulse
12:19 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

Gallup poll: healthy habits take a hit after the storm

News from the Gallup Wellbeing poll: healthy behaviors declined after Superstorm Sandy in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, the hardest hit states.

The survey found residents less likely to be getting 30 minutes of regular exercise, and less likely to be eating healthy food. Why?

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The Pulse
5:22 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

The great irony of private insurance and mental health coverage

This week, our neighbors in Connecticut began hearings about mental health care in the state after the Newtown shooting. Lawmakers and a couple of task forces convened by Gov. Dannel Malloy are reviewing the state's mental health services and looking at the kinds of public policy and legal fixes that might make it better. Should we mandate outpatient treatments for the mentally ill? Can we truly assess someone's risk before it's too late? Should gun buyers face a mandatory mental health evaluation?

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Health Care
1:10 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

RI Medical Society journal now free, online

Looking for a little something to read over the long weekend? Try the Rhode Island Medical Society's Rhode Island Medical Journal, now online and totally free.

Some of the articles are for a scholarly audience, but I found lots of interest and think others who aren't physicians or researchers will, too.

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Health Care
6:21 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

No more babies for Westerly hospital

The Westerly Sun reported earlier this month that the attorney in charge of Westerly Hospital since it entered receivership had declared the struggling hospital’s obstetric services safe. But the paper is now reporting that Westerly Hospital will deliver its last babies by this June. Deliveries at the community hospital have fallen over the years, and the hospital may not be able to sustain a large enough roster of doctors to keep the maternity ward doors open.

Health Care
1:29 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Flu in Rhode Island: How bad is it?

If you've got the flu, it's bad. Awfully bad. But is this season any worse than unusual? Are hospitals really being overwhelmed by "skyrocketing" cases in an unprecedented outbreak?

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