Gov. Gina Raimondo’s new budget proposes cutting millions of dollars in payments to hospitals and nursing homes. While their bottom lines have been improving, hospital officials say the cuts could hurt that recovery.
A rising tide lifts all boats. That’s the finding of a Brown University researcher who investigated whether hospital quality improvements brought better care for minority patients as well as white.
Brown University professor Amal Trivedi wanted to know if improved standards at hospitals have helped all patients equally. Medicare asked hospitals to start reporting certain quality measures in 2005. Trivedi said that at that time, there were significant disparities between the care whites and minorities got at hospitals around the country.
Rhode Island State Nurses Association head Donna Policastro said a national nursing organization is encouraging nurses to refuse to care for patients showing signs of Ebola – if they don’t feel their hospitals are adequately prepared. Policastro said this puts nurses in a difficult position.
“Through our code of ethics we take care of everyone," said Policastro. "But nurses need to feel protected. And those two nurses in Dallas serve as symbols of the fact that Dallas Presbyterian wasn’t ready. And they said they were ready.”
It's back to school time for kids, of course (and teachers). But perhaps it's time to head back into the classroom or lecture hall yourself.
Need a refresher course in keeping healthy? Strategies for coping with chronic disease? Or perhaps you'd like to learn more about the vaccinations you need, or how to be a brand new parent. Whatever your curiosity or particular health challenge, there's probably a class, lecture, or program out there to help you.
Rhode Island health department officials do not expect to see any Ebola cases in the state. But they’re preparing anyway.
Rhode Island’s health department director Dr. Michael Fine says his agency knows how to handle an infectious disease outbreak. And one of the first lines of defense against Ebola includes health care workers and hospitals.
“What we’re trying to do is make sure that everyone understands what they have to do should a traveler come here from an endemic area," said Fine.
Since the beginning of this year, Rhode Island’s hospitals have seen a nearly 18 percent drop in the amount of charity care they must provide. Hospitals provide millions in uncompensated care to people who can’t pay or don’t have insurance. But the number of people without insurance has dwindled since the roll out of the Affordable Care Act. As a result, acting president of the Hospital Association of Rhode Island Mike Souza says hospitals may be recouping as much as $40 million more dollars this year.
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.