Health Care

Health Care
6:00 am
Thu December 18, 2014

At The Crossroads, Part 7: Behind Bars, Hep C Takes A Toll On Inmates, And Budgets

Outside the medium security prison in Cranston.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island’s prisons are grappling with a dilemma. Hundreds of inmates have hepatitis C. New drugs can cure it. But they’re so expensive the department of corrections can’t afford them for every inmate who’s sick.

In this next part of our series “At the Crossroads,” a look at how prison officials decide who gets treated first.

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Health Care
3:26 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Proposed Rules Could Change Painkiller Prescribing

Donna Policastro, representing Rhode Island nurses, says the proposed regulations are unnecessary.
Credit 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.

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Health Care
3:08 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Need A Little One On One? HealthSource RI Enrollment Fair

Customers get help enrolling in HealthSource RI.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The deadline to renew health insurance plans through Health Source RI is coming up on December 23rd.  The state’s health insurance exchange is holding an enrollment fair today in Warwick to help customers in person. We checked in with a few to find out how it’s going.

Warwick resident Kim Darcy was waiting her turn to speak with a health insurance counselor. Darcy plans to re-enroll. And she says she’s thankful there’s a plan she can afford after going without for many years.

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Health Care
8:52 am
Tue December 9, 2014

RI Nursing Homes Collecting Donations To Help Fight Ebola

Nursing homes across Rhode Island will be collecting donations to help fight Ebola in West Africa. That’s because, the state’s nursing home association recognized a need to help its large community of West African workers.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Fri December 5, 2014

At The Crossroads, Part 6: Veterans Harder Hit By Hep C

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) chairs the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs. At a hearing Wednesday, Dec. 3, Sanders wanted to know why new hepatitis C drugs cost so much and how the VA was going to pay for them.
Credit Screenshot of live stream of hearing

In our ongoing series about hepatitis C, we look now at one of the hardest hit populations: veterans. Hep C is three times more prevalent among vets than in the general population. The Veterans Health Administration has the country’s largest hepatitis C screening and treatment program in the country. But that program is struggling to pay for new treatments – and the rising number of veterans who need them.

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Health Care
5:45 am
Fri December 5, 2014

For Pregnant Workers, Two RI Cities Offer Clearer Rules

A pregnancy discrimination case before the US Supreme Court now hinges on legal language that’s open to interpretation. But two Rhode Island cities have written their own rules about pregnant workers.

Central Falls and Providence both passed city-wide ordinances earlier this year to protect pregnant workers from on-the-job discrimination. Women’s Fund of Rhode Island spokeswoman Shandi Hanna said employers in those cities must now give pregnant workers reasonable accommodations, like extra bathroom breaks or lighter duties. And that’s a trend she’d like to see continue.

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Health Care
9:05 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Rhode Island Marks World AIDS Day

Dr. Amy Nunn and Gov. Lincoln Chafee push for more testing at the World AIDS Day event in the Statehouse.
Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Rhode Island is marking World AIDS Day, Monday with an event at the Statehouse.  The goal is to raise awareness about progress made, and progress still needed.

Eighty-seven new cases of HIV have been reported this year. That’s up from the 74 cases reported in 2013, and 87 too many say doctors and activists.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Data: Mental Health Professional Helps Police Handle Crisis Calls

The Warwick Police department will be embedding a mental health professional on its force. The idea is to replicate a program in Providence, and there’s new data about how that program is working.

The Warwick program will be similar to the one in Providence, where a mental health team member rides along with cops to reach out to people in crisis and make an evaluation on the scene when needed. The so-called “community diversion clinician” tries to help people avoid jail when mental health treatment could be the better option.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Wed November 26, 2014

At The Crossroads, Part 5: The Uncomfortable Math Of Hep C Treatment

What’s the price of a human life? Many of us would say each life is priceless. But health economists sometimes have a number in mind.

Want to know what that number is?

In this part of our series “At the Crossroads: The Rise of Hepatitis C and The Fight To Stop It,” we'll tell you that - and more. We go beyond the high price of new hepatitis C drugs  to ask: how much is too much? And what the heck is a "quality adjusted life year" anyway?

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Health Care
4:52 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Kids Count Says RIte Care Works, But Improvements Needed

Rhode Island Kids Count found kids enrolled in the health insurance program for low-income children and families have better access to preventative health care. The new study on RIte Care comes on the program’s 20th anniversary.

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