Health Care

Gabe Amo / Governor's Office

Governor Gina Raimondo’s senior advisor on drug policy, Tom Coderre, said all options should be on the table to deal with the state’s opioid crisis, including safe injection sites. 

RI Department of Health

Hospitals have reported an increase in patients who tested positive for flu over the last three weeks, according to the most recent data from the Rhode Island Department of Health.

Lynn Arditi / RIPR

(This the second part of a two-part story. Read part one here.) 

Andrew Dillon has had a front row seat to the opioid epidemic in New Bedford. His diner is a favorite for local fishermen.

Lynn Arditi / RIPR

(This is the first part of a two-part story. Read part two here.)
 Commercial fishing consistently ranks as one world’s most dangerous jobs, which may help explain why fishermen have been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. 

Karen Brown / NEPR

The American Red Cross has raised the alert on its blood supply to "critical" -- the last step before "emergency."

Officials are blaming flu and bad weather for keeping donors at home, but some researchers also point to changes in the blood economy.

To keep up with normal demand, the Red Cross has to collect 372 units of blood in Massachusetts every day.

But this season they’re falling short, said Red Cross spokesperson Kelly Isenor.

In the past month, the organization has canceled 28 blood drives in the state, which equals about 750 donations.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has hired former state Senator Tom Coderre, a Democrat, to serve as a senior advisor on the opioid crisis.

The governor's chief of staff said Coderre will help coordinate various departments and agencies and their response to the crisis.

Lynn Arditi / RIPR

Last week we met Rhode Islanders waiting outside the state Department of Human Services because of problems with benefits like food stamps and Medicaid. The shift to a new online system left thousands of people without the assistance they count on. One woman, Elizabeth Vanover, says doctors bills have been piling up since the state cut off her Medicaid.

Lynn Arditi

The start of the month is an important time for Son Sam, a 62-year-old grandmother. That’s when she gets her food stamps. But this month, she didn’t get any.

So, on the first Monday in December, Sam and scores of other people lined up outside the state Department of Human Services in Providence.

RIPR File Photo

The City of Providence wants to turn its fire departments into sanctuaries for people caught in the opioid epidemic. Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza made the announcement Monday.

Connecticut Takes A Look At Aetna's New Future

Dec 5, 2017
Montgomery County Planning Commission / CC BY 2.0 VIA FLICKR

Connecticut is calculating the potential impact of the new mega-merger announced by health insurer Aetna and pharmacy chain CVS. 

RIPR File Photo

Rhode Island-based pharmacy chain CVS is set to acquire the health insurance provider Aetna for $69 billion. The boards of both companies have voted to approve the deal, which still needs approval from federal regulators. The merger raises questions about the future of the two companies, as well as the future of healthcare in America. 

Calmon1 / CC BY 3.0 Via Wikimedia

CVS Health has reportedly agreed to buy Aetna, the nation’s third-largest health insurer for $69-billion.

CVS is a lot more than a pharmacy. The Woonsocket-based company operates a giant retail chain – including 69 Rhode Island stores that sell everything from shampoo to potato chips. 

CC0 Public Domain

Care New England’s plan to relocate Brown University’s medical residency program to Kent Hospital in Warwick has some in the medical community breathing a sigh of relief.   

RIPR

Rhode Island’s health advisory board on Tuesday unanimously approved Prime Healthcare Services’ conversion of Landmark Hospital to a nonprofit, thereby allowing the company to avoid paying millions of dollars in property taxes to the City of Woonsocket.

RIPR

Care New England Health System closed Memorial Hospital’s intensive care unit Monday, prompting accusations by the hospital’s union that it violated state regulatory procedures.

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