doctors

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment, The Bottom Line. This week Mark and Dave chat with Dr. Louis Rice, president of the University Medicine Foundation. The foundation has partnered with Bryant University to provide leadership training for doctors.

Kristin Gourlay

Rhode Island is entering the second year of a program that repays medical school loans for doctors in underserved areas. The program, which is also open to nurses, aims to attract more doctors to the places that need them the most. Last year, applicants won an average of $40,000 in repayments for agreeing to serve two years in a needy community. Rhode Island Health Center Association CEO Jane Heyward says the program is attractive to medical school graduates with huge loan debts. But it could...

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Health department officials have a plan to compel more doctors to use a prescription drug monitoring program. That’s one piece of the effort to fight opioid addiction and overdose. A prescription drug monitoring program, or PDMP , is an online database. It’s supposed to help anyone who prescribes controlled substances like painkillers or anxiety medications look up a patient’s history with those drugs. The idea is to spot signs of trouble, like dangerous drug combinations, or addiction. Rhode...

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket has won federal funding to train more primary care doctors. The program is focused on caring for kids in poor communities. And the hope is that trainees will decide to stay on after their residencies. The grant will help residents see more children in the hospital's family medicine clinics, add mental health services, and teach residents more about the social determinants of health. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Kristin Gourlay joins Elisabeth Harrison in the...

Boeing Commercial Airplanes

Note: I've added a point about the Good Samaritan law, thanks to comments from readers. It's up for consideration now at the Statehouse. A group of state and federal leaders gathered yesterday for a roundtable discussion on Rhode Island's seemingly intractable drug overdose crisis. Present for that discussion: Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), health dept. director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, behavioral health dept. director Maria Montanaro, Gov. Gina Raimondo, and head of the state police, Col. Steven...

Patient-centered medical homes. Community health teams. Accountable care organizations. Integrated medical and behavioral health care practices. Case management. Jargon? Yes, it's health policy wonk speak, for sure. But what these concepts have in common is simple: they all refer to a kind of health care that's about reconnecting patients with a primary care doctor . The idea is to help people manage their overall health, avoid expensive hospital visits, and basically keep chronic conditions...

A technicality in the law has meant that children’s psychiatric hospitals could not compete for graduate medical education funding from the federal government. Other kinds of teaching hospitals, including general children's hospitals, have been able to apply for federal funding to train residents and fellows. But after years of trying, Rhode Island’s Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed have gotten the law changed. Bradley Hospital’s academic director Dr. Greg Fritz says without the...

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island health officials are considering new regulations governing how health care providers prescribe painkillers. So far this year, 212 Rhode Islanders have died from accidental drug overdoses, most involving opioids, according to the health department. If adopted, the regulations would require prescribers– including doctors, dentists, and others—to sign an agreement with their patients about the risks of taking opioids like OxyContin or Vicodin. Prescribers would have to register with...

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. KRISTIN : The University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College will be getting a shared nursing school. It’ll be in an old power plant that’s been sitting empty in Providence’s historic jewelry district. This school has been a dream of many for a while, and with the stroke of his pen...

Aaron Read / RIPR

A state senate committee has recommended passage of two bills aimed at curbing prescription drug and heroin abuse. A bill that would require doctors who prescribe controlled substances like OxyContin to use the state’s prescription drug monitoring system has cleared a hurdle in the Senate health and human services committee. The system is an online database that keeps track of a patient’s prescriptions and may help a prescriber spot addictive behavior. But until now only a small percentage of...

When it comes to health insurance, "in-network" means a provider or facility that's contracted with your insurer to provide services at an agreed-upon rate. "Out-of-network" means a provider or facility that doesn't have an agreement with your insurer. Whether in-network or out-of-network providers and facilities are covered, and to what extent, depends on your particular health insurance plan. Usually, in-network doctors and hospitals are cheaper for patients. The more in-network options you...

It's pretty basic: in order to save a little money, most people have to stick to a budget. But before you can sketch out that spending plan, you need to know where your money's been going and how much you've been spending on everything. Then you can look for places to trim and skimp. So too goes the theory with health care spending. Or at least, that's the idea behind several new efforts: - Rhode Island is creating something called an " all payer claims database ." The legislation to enable...

Aaron Read / RIPR

New rules for Medicare Advantage plan members give seniors more flexibility to opt out of plans that drop their doctors from the network. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced that Medicare Advantage plan members will be able to switch plans if those plans drop doctors mid-year without cause. These are Medicare plans offered by private insurance companies and often operate like HMOs. The move comes after several Medicare Advantage plan providers, like United Healthcare,...

Connecticut doctors sued United Healthcare for dropping them from their Medicare Advantage network. Will Rhode Island follow suit? Probably not, says Steven DeToy with the Rhode Island Medical Society. He told me he thinks it's unlikely the doctors will have any luck in court because United had the right to drop doctors - it's in their contract. And if they did, it could get expensive and messy: doctors could be responsible for half the cost of mediation if it comes to that. The federal judge...

A federal judge in Connecticut is blocking United Healthcare’s move to drop hundreds of doctors from its Medicare Advantage network. The Hartford Courant reports that the Fairfield and Hartford County Medical Associations convinced the court that removing the more than 2-thousand doctors in Connecticut from the health insurance network would be too damaging. And that the insurer plans to appeal the decision. United Healthcare drew fire for its decision to drop hundreds of doctors from its...

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