Health Care

Health Care
4:40 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

HealthSource RI Working, But Bedeviled By Federal Database

Hiccups in a federal database have caused some problems for Rhode Island’s own online health insurance marketplace, health-source RI. That database is working again now. But there are ongoing issues with verifying an applicant’s identity.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Thu October 31, 2013

How Many "Fun Sized" Candy Bars Are Too Many?

Exhibit A...which the author will not be consuming all by herself. Maybe.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Parents everywhere may be looking forward to dipping into that plastic pumpkin to sneak a Halloween treat tonight – and for several nights to come. Is that so bad?

Not necessarily, according to Johnson and Wales University pediatric nutrition expert Barbara Robinson. She joined us in the studio to talk about Halloween candy, along with a giant bag of "fun size" treats.

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Health Care
5:00 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Landmark's New Owner Must Use Rx Monitoring Program, Invest In Primary Care

Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

California-based Prime Healthcare Services won approval earlier this week to buy Woonsocket’s Landmark Medical Center. But the approval came with conditions. One is that the company keep Rhode Island regulators abreast of a federal investigation it’s under for allegedly over-billing Medicare. Another is that Prime invest in primary care and in preventing hospital re-admissions. The Department of Health expressed some concern about Prime’s practices at other hospitals, but department head Michael Fine said the terms of the deal to acquire Landmark should allay those concerns.

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Health Care
5:21 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Deal To Acquire Landmark Approved

Kristin Gourlay RIPR

Woonsocket’s Landmark Medical Center is about to turn the page on a long and challenging chapter in its history. The struggling hospital has received regulatory approval to be acquired by a for-profit hospital chain called Prime Healthcare. That means an end to five years of uncertainty for employees, patients, and the community.

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Health Care
5:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Decision Expected On Landmark's Future

Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket has been in receivership since 2008.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Today is the deadline for state regulators to decide whether an out-of-state hospital chain can acquire Woonsocket's Landmark Medical Center. The decision will mark the end of five years of uncertainty for the struggling hospital.

Landmark has been in receivership, a kind of bankruptcy, since 2008. It's flirted with several different potential buyers who got cold feet for one reason or another and pulled out. It's battled the state's largest insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island, for higher payments.

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Health Care
5:03 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Doctors Dropped From Medicare Ask State Leaders For Help

Credit Wikimedia Commons

United Healthcare has notified an unknown number of Rhode Island doctors that they’re being cut from its Medicare Advantage plan network. The news comes during Medicare’s open enrollment period and could affect thousands of senior citizens in the Ocean State.

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Health Care
3:22 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Women & Infants Labor Dispute Over Definition Of "Delivery"

A labor dispute at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence has erupted over the layoff of 16 staff members. The layoffs, and the dispute, turn on the definition of a single word: deliveries.

Members of the Service Employees International Union local 1199 are picketing outside Women and Infants over the hospital’s decision to cut several cleaning, lab, and clinical staff. Union spokesman Patrick Quinn says his members dispute the hospital’s claim that the number of deliveries – and therefore the need for as many staff – has dropped below 8500 over the past year.

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Health Care
4:57 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Block Island Asks State For Help Combatting Lyme

Female deer ticks, satiated after a blood meal, in test tubes in Yale University's tick lab.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Block Island Health Service officials say the state Department of Health has agreed to meet with them about the steep increase in Lyme disease on the island. Island officials want the state to take a more active role in fighting the disease.

Block Island Health Services officials say they’ve seen 68 cases of Lyme disease through August of this year. That’s up from 48 for all of the previous year. Health service head Barbara Baldwin says she decided it was time to ask for some help.

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Health Care
1:12 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of RI Opens Retail Store

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island opens a retail store in Warwick.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island has opened its first retail location in Warwick, another sign of the shifting health insurance business landscape.

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Health Care
9:15 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Senators Briefed On The State of Healthsource RI

Director of the health benefits exchange, Healthsource RI, Christy Ferguson at a Senate briefing.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The head of Rhode Island's online insurance marketplace says she's encouraged by the amount of interest consumers have shown in signing up for health insurance on the state’s newly launched health exchange.

It’s been up and running since October 1st to help uninsured Rhode Islanders and small businesses get the health coverage most are required to have by January 2014.

Healthsource RI leader Christy Ferguson briefed state senators on how it’s working last night. She says the exchange could help drive down health care costs if plenty of small businesses sign up.

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