For the second time this season, the Rhode Island health department has declared flu widespread. That means that any unvaccinated health care workers must wear surgical masks around patients until the declaration of “widespread” is lifted. Flu was declared widespread in Rhode Island for most of January and February this year. But the health department says this time is more intense than the first.
The dominant strain now affects the elderly, in particular. 13 people have died from flu in Rhode Island this season, all of them in their 80s and 90s.
State lawmakers are scheduled to consider several marijuana-related bills this evening. At issue is expanding access to medical marijuana and, once again, legalizing the drug for anyone over the age of 21.
Seven marijuana-related bills are before the House Committee on Judiciary. One would legalize marijuana for all adults, regulating it like alcohol and taxing sales. That’s been proposed before and failed, but other states have since legalized it.
New rules for Medicare Advantage plan members give seniors more flexibility to opt out of plans that drop their doctors from the network.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced that Medicare Advantage plan members will be able to switch plans if those plans drop doctors mid-year without cause. These are Medicare plans offered by private insurance companies and often operate like HMOs.
Francis Csedrik, who is 8 and lives in Washington, D.C., remembers a lot of events from when he was 4 or just a bit younger. There was the time he fell "headfirst on a marble floor" and got a concussion, the day someone stole the family car ("my dad had to chase it down the block"), or the morning he found a black bat (the furry kind) in the house.
Having a chronic disease like diabetes or asthma can be debilitating. It can also be managed with ongoing medical treatment and taking care of your health. But there's a cost to not managing these conditions - to your health, and to the health care system. That's why health care professionals and public officials have been focusing their efforts on helping patients manage those chronic conditions through better primary care. That's the goal of the "chronic care sustainability initiative" in Rhode Island, or CSI RI.
The Rhode Island health department has issued more emergency regulations to deal with the state’s rising number of deaths from opioid overdoses. The new regulations require hospitals and health care professionals to report any overdoses from prescription painkillers, heroin, or other opioids to the department within 48 hours.
These newborns are both being treated for withdrawal from opioids in a nursery at Women & Infants. They've been swaddled tightly to help them feel safe and calm, and these "swings" rock them gently from side to side.
The rising number of Rhode Islanders struggling with an addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin has brought an increase in babies born addicted to these substances. And Women & Infants Hospital is treating a growing number of them.
Recently, the results of a study that followed Canadian women for 25 years cast some doubt on the value of mammography in helping to reduce deaths from breast cancer. Add to that news the recently updated recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that women should get a mammogram every other year from age 50 to 74, and you’ve got a recipe for confusion