Health Care

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State health officials say we’re spending too much on nursing homes. Instead, they say, we could be caring for people, for less money, at home.

Courtesy RI Department of Human Services

  Rhode Island’s new online portal for programs like Medicaid and food stamps is set to go live mid-September. The new system will streamline the process for people seeking services. It could also impact some DHS employees.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A Brown University medical student wants to register every med student in the country to vote. And the group he founded is gaining momentum.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The Obama administration has announced new rules that would let doctors treat more patients addicted to opioids. That could help Rhode Island, where access to treatment is limited.

Johnson and Wales Goes Cold Turkey

Jul 1, 2016
Creative Commons

Johnson and Wales celebrated a new tobacco-free policy today over cold turkey sandwiches. The policy makes JWU the first institution of higher learning in Rhode Island to ban tobacco from their campus. Former student government President Ray Nuñez  says the new policy will focus on encouragement rather than punishment.

"This isn’t a (sic) anti-smoking police system. We’re not going to have people going around giving citations for smoking. It’s going to be a culture movement, where people are going to be respectfully telling people ‘hey, we’re no longer a smoking campus.’"

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

New research from the Pew Charitable Trusts shows Rhode Island is leading the nation when it comes to reducing painkiller prescriptions. State officials attribute the drop to education for doctors and patients about the risk of opioid overdose.

Rhode Island Dept. of Health, Brown University School of Public Health

State health officials are expanding efforts to tackle the opioid overdose epidemic. They’ve launched a web site – preventoverdoseri.org - to track overdose, addiction, and treatment statistics. And the state is re-launching a $100,000 public awareness campaign about getting help for addiction. 

Kids Count

More of Rhode Island’s children are living in poverty this year than last. That’s one of the highlights of a new report from Kids Count – a project of the children’s think tank The Annie E. Casey Foundation. But some measures of child well-being have improved.

Office of Governor Gina Raimondo

Governor Gina Raimondo has announced that the state employee health plan will now cover gender transition services. 

Rhode Island Dept. of Human Services

Rhode Islanders seeking medical or food stamp assistance will soon be able to complete their application online, all in one go.

Wikimedia

The Rhode Island Foundation has seeded some of the state’s institutions of higher education with nearly half a million dollars in medical research funding. The money goes toward 20 research projects that range from studying heart failure in obese people to using mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques to help prevent pre-term births. 

Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island

The state’s health insurance commissioner is inviting public comment on proposed health insurance rates for next year. Those rates include some of the smallest proposed increases in years.

Health insurers in Rhode Island can’t just raise monthly premium rates. They have to request a rate change each year from the state’s health insurance commissioner and justify it.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island’s largest health system posted a $9 million dollar net loss for the 2015 fiscal year. Those losses come in part from Lifespan’s behavioral health entity, Gateway Healthcare.

But total operating revenue is up slightly over the previous year, as are expenses.

In its most recent annual report, Lifespan details more growth: the addition of more than 200 employees, and a boost in the number of outpatient visits over last year.

Wikimedia / Creative Commons

Rhode Island will receive $3.4 million dollars to reduce lead hazards in homes. It's the seventh round of funding in more than a decade aimed at hundreds of homes with lead contamination.

Rhode Island Housing will distribute the funds to organizations that help identify homes at the highest risk for lead. These apartments or houses built were before 1978, when a ban on lead paint went into effect. And Rhode Island has a high percentage of older apartment buildings compared to the rest of the nation.

RIPR file photo

Rhode Island’s health insurance commissioner says she’s concerned about funding cuts in the proposed state budget. The agency may have to cut nine of its 12 employees, who currently oversee health insurance regulation.

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