Health Care

Memorial Hospital

A nurses’ union has sued Memorial Hospital’s parent company, Care New England, to try to maintain obstetrics and other services at the Pawtucket-based community hospital. They're asking regulators to look for more alternatives to maintaining the hospital as it is.

Welcome to Central Falls sign
RIPR file

A new healthcare effort in Central Falls is getting a boost. A program called the Neighborhood Health Station has won a grant to pay for outreach workers to prevent overdose deaths and reduce emergency room use.

RIPR file photo

Rhode Island’s health insurance exchange says UnitedHealthcare will stop offering plans in 2017. That means health insurance consumers will have fewer options in the coming open enrollment period.

Cynthia Goldsmith / CDC

The Rhode Island Department of Health says the first case of Zika virus has been confirmed in the state. The state health agency says the man is in his 60s and recently traveled to Haiti. That’s one of the countries where Zika transmission is active.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid

New data from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid brings greater insight into health disparities at the local level.

RIPR FILE

Just two decades ago, the vast majority of Rhode Island children had elevated levels of lead in their blood when they were tested at the start of Kindergarten. Today, the percentage has dropped into the single digits, according to Rhode Island Kids Count Executive Director Elizabeth Burke Bryant, whose organization started tracking blood lead statistics in the mid-1990s.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

An increasing number of pregnant women are in treatment for opioid addiction. They face a heart-wrenching dilemma: stop taking the medication that’s helped them stay sober, or risk a baby born in withdrawal.

Now, researchers want to know if they can predict how severe that withdrawal will be, and whether they can head symptoms off before they get worse. And they're recruiting mothers like Ashley to help them answer those questions.

Kristin Gourlay / ripr

  Hospitals could face another rate cut under the Medicaid budget proposed for this fiscal year. Tension over the cuts came up during a budget hearing this week.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

More than 1,000 Rhode Islanders have died from accidental drug overdoses in the past five years. Many more have been revived, thanks to first responders and emergency room workers.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Two employees of Zambarano Hospital in Burrillville have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. A spokeswoman for the state department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals says the agency has referred findings from an internal review to state police.

State officials have closed a group home for developmentally disabled adults after “multiple reports of suspected abuse” of residents. A resident died at the facility in February.

The state Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals has ordered the closure of the College Park Apartments in Providence. Officials say the agency has reviewed several incidents at the facility, which houses adults with disabilities. They have referred the matter to state police and the state’s attorney general.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The state health department must approve the proposal, but officials are seeking public input before making a decision.

More than 100 people gathered at a community center in Pawtucket to express their views on the proposed closure. Most urged health department officials to deny Memorial’s request because of their belief that the hospital provides women a birth experience like no other. Stacey Nichols had both of her children at Memorial Hospital.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

State representatives are considering bills that would require the state Department of Health to hold public hearings before implementing new immunization requirements. That proposal follows protests last year over the new requirement that 7th graders get the HPV, or human papillomavirus, vaccine.

State health officials typically convene a panel of experts and follow guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before making vaccination decisions. Interested citizens can sign up to be notified about proposed new requirements.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State lawmakers will consider several bills designed to fight opioid addiction and overdose deaths.

The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services has scheduled a suite of bills designed to address the state’s ongoing heroin and prescription drug crisis. One would mandate insurance coverage for at least 90 days of inpatient addiction treatment for patients who meet certain standards. That’s in contrast to the 30 days or less most insurers allow. 

Cynthia Goldsmith / CDC

  The Rhode Island Department of Health continues to monitor pregnant women who have traveled to areas of the world affected by the Zika virus.

The agency reports monitoring about eight to 10 women a week on average. That means health care providers keep tabs on whether any symptoms develop, and blood samples are typically collected and sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing.

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