Health Care

Health Care
9:03 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Gov. Raimondo Tackles Rhode Island's High Medicaid Costs

Gov. Gina Raimondo signs executive order creating a group to tackle the state's high cost of medicaid.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo is asking a group of healthcare leaders to tackle the cost of Medicaid. The program provides healthcare for poor and elderly Rhode Islanders.

The per-patient cost for Medicaid in Rhode Island is the second highest in the nation, and the rising price tag is eating up too much of the state budget. That was the message from Governor Gina Raimondo, as she signed an executive order to create a working group on Medicaid.

Raimondo said if the state doesn’t address the issue, the consequences could be dire.

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Health Care
5:21 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Raimondo: Abuses At Slater Hospital Are "Unacceptable"

Elisabeth Harrison RIPR

State police and state and federal health officials are investigating the apparent abuse of three patients with profound disabilities at the state-run Eleanor Slater Hospital. Gov. Gina Raimondo said the alleged abuses are upsetting.

Raimondo said Maria Montanaro, the new director she appointed to state department of behavioral healthcare, is conducting a robust investigation.

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Health Care
12:03 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Hasbro Offers Summer Camp For Kids With Asthma

Hasbro Children's Hospital hosts a camp in Exeter for kids with asthma.
Credit RIPR File

Hasbro Children’s Hospital is accepting applications for its summer camp for kids with asthma. Hiking, swimming, or canoeing at summer camp may be challenging for kids with asthma. But Hasbro’s camp makes it easier. That’s because doctors and nurses are on on-site to treat any respiratory issues that may arise.

Director Miosotis Alsina said the camp is an opportunity for kids to meet others with similar health issues. “They’re able to interact with other children in a group setting and learn from one another, also learn from a group of doctors," said Alsina.

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Health Care
3:54 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

SEIU Taking Women And Infants Hospital To Court Over Layoffs

A union that represents the majority of workers recently laid off at Women and Infants Hospital is challenging the job cuts in federal court.

They get to stay on the job until at least Thursday. That’s when a federal judge will hear the union’s challenge. Women and Infants announced the lay-offs this week for more than 40 employees, including certified nurses assistants, imaging technicians, food and laundry service workers.

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Health Care
3:21 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

15,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI Customers' Info Hacked

About 15,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island members may be among the victims of a massive cyber attack. Health insurance giant Anthem, which offers Blue Cross plans in other states, revealed that hackers had stolen the personal information of nearly 80 million customers earlier this month. Anthem offers Blue Cross plans in other states.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island chief privacy officer Martha Holt Castle said they’re working with Anthem to repair the damage. Meanwhile, a letter will be sent to affected Rhode Islanders.

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Health Care
3:52 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Women & Infants Hospital Lays Off Dozens Of Workers

Women & Infants hospital is laying off 41 employees and reducing hours for half a dozen others. The hospital blames the job cuts on dropping birth rates in Rhode Island, combined with changes in the way insurance and federal healthcare plans pay hospitals. Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison reports.

According to Women & Infants Senior Vice President for Patient Care Angelleen Peters-Lewis, the focus now is better outcomes, not more procedures.

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Health Care
5:30 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Debrief: What Could A Strike At RI Hospital Mean?

Rhode Island Hospital employs more than 7000 workers.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Workers at Rhode Island Hospital have threatened to strike as contract negotiations reach an impasse. A federal mediator has been called in to help broker a deal between the hospital and members of the Teamsters union. The Teamsters represent certified nurses’ assistants and unit assistants, people who help care for patients.

What could a strike mean for patients and employees? Rhode Island Public Radio’s health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joins host Dave Fallon to sort through the issues.

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Health Care
12:21 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Health Officials To Evaluate Impact of Meningitis Vaccine At PC

Health officials plan to evaluate the effectiveness of a new vaccine for bacterial meningitis given en masse to Providence College students. Researchers will collect throat swabs from some of the thousands of students vaccinated over the next few months.

After two students at Providence College came down with meningitis, health officials rushed to vaccinate more than 3500 students to contain a potential outbreak. So far, no new cases have cropped up.

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Health Care
4:33 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Teamsters Authorize Strike At Rhode Island Hospital

Members of the Teamsters union working at Rhode Island Hospital voted Wednesday evening to authorize a strike. Don’t expect to see picket lines immediately.

The vote simply gives union leadership the authority to give the hospital 10 days' notice before striking. But members could walk off the job in a couple of weeks if they don’t reach a new contract deal with hospital management. A federal mediator has been called in, according to hospital officials.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Can Murder Charges For Selling Drugs Stop Overdose Deaths?

A providence man has been charged with murder for selling drugs to a woman, who subsequently overdosed.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

A Providence man has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge for selling the illicit drug fentanyl - a potent painkiller sometimes laced in heroin - that led to a woman’s overdose death. It’s the first time Rhode Island prosecutors have brought murder charges in connection with an overdose death. But the trend is taking hold nationwide.

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