A reported surge in the number of children removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect is raising concern across the state. Addiction is a major cause.
Chris Dorval manages programs at an addiction treatment facility called Clinical Services of Rhode Island. Dorval says that over the past couple of years, he’s treated a growing number of clients whose children have been removed from their homes. But Dorval said he thinks there’s more to it than just the increasing number of people addicted to opioids like heroin and prescription painkillers.
Lifespan, one of Rhode Island's largest employers, is implementing a new policy that will make employees who use tobacco products pay a surcharge.
The policy will tack on an extra $600 a year to the medical benefits of any employee or spouse or domestic partner covered by company insurance who uses tobacco products. That includes cigarettes, chewing tobacco and e-cigarettes.
Lifespan will also offer employees free smoking cessation programs.
Lifespan’s CEO says it’s a way to encourage employees to quit.
The U.S. outlawed lead paint in 1978. Yet it still covers the walls of many older homes, particularly here in the northeast. When that paint chips or peels, it poses a serious danger especially to kids. But in 2005, Rhode Island passed a law requiring some landlords to clean up lead paint. And a group of researchers recently set out to find out if it’s working. Hasbro Children’s Hospital pediatrician and Brown University school of public health associate professor doctor Patrick Vivier is one of those researchers.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a Massachusetts law meant to keep protesters 35 feet away from abortion clinics is drawing local reaction.
Rhode Island ACLU head Steve Brown says he thinks the court struck the right balance in this ruling, a balance between the right to free speech and the right to have an abortion. He says the court appropriately noted that clinics have other ways of dealing with protestors who cross a line.
The state’s largest hospital chain and largest insurer have inked an agreement to share patient data that will help them look for ways to improve health and save money. The deal is the largest of its kind in the state and could shape health care for more than 35,000 Rhode Islanders.
How much will health insurance cost you next year? Well, you’ll find out soon. Health insurers have submitted their plans for next year, including how much they want to charge customers and what benefits those plans will include.
In Rhode Island, it’s the office of the health insurance commissioner that reviews those plans and decides whether to approve or reject them, or ask for some changes.
Small business owners are hoping the state’s health insurance commissioner will hold the line on the cost of health insurance for next year. The commissioner’s office is taking public comment on those proposed rates now. And at a public hearing last night, several small business owners testified about how rising insurance costs are eating into their bottom line. Bruce Dawson owns Central Tools in Pawtucket.