Health Care

Hasbro Study: Cyber-Bullying May Be Causing PTSD In Teens

Feb 20, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Hasbro Children’s Hospital researcher Dr. Megan Ranney says nearly a quarter of the teens in a recent study reported signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. Ranney surveyed more than 350 teenagers who landed in Hasbro’s emergency room for various reasons. She says she was surprised by the high rate of PTSD symptoms, and she believes it relates to cyber-bullying.

Second State Sued Over Hepatitis C Medication Access

Feb 19, 2016
From the Annals of Internal Medicine article: Restrictions for Medicaid Reimbursement of Sofosbuvir for the Treatment of Hepatitis C Virus Infection in the United States / Authors: Soumitri Barua; Robert Greenwald, JD; Jason Grebely, PhD; Gregory J. Dore, MBBS, PhD; Tracy Swan; and Lynn E. Taylor, MD

Medicaid patients in Washington state (a similar suit is underway in Indiana) have sued the state's Medicaid agency claiming they were denied treatment for hepatitis C because of the high cost of the drugs. Litigation director Kevin Costello with the Harvard Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation says his organization has joined the lawsuit.

Missed Our Live Twitter #Zikachat? Here's A Recap.

Feb 18, 2016
U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

Women & Infants Hospital maternal-fetal medicine expert Brenna Hughes answered questions from RIPR listeners and twitter followers about Zika virus in a live twitter chat Thursday at noon.

Some of the biggest questions involved the risk of transmission, whether mosquito repellent is safe for pregnant women and how the virus has been linked to the brain defect known as mircocephaly.

Here's a recap (scroll down to see the "Storified" version of our live chat).

Many thanks to everyone who sent in questions and to Dr. Hughes and the staff at Women & Infants Hospital for making this possible!

National Program of Cancer Registries / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Lifespan has announced plans to partner with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Massachusetts. Lifespan officials say the partnership will provide patients better access to care for rare and complex cancers. The two hospital systems have signed a letter of intent. 

New Public Health 'Dashboard' Coming To Providence

Feb 17, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Providence will be one of a handful of cities to pilot a new online tool to help monitor public health. It’s a project of the federal National Resources Network and private researchers.

Narcan Handed Out To RI Municipal Police Depts.

Feb 16, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State police handed out supplies of Narcan, the overdose rescue drug, to municipal police departments from around Rhode Island Tuesday. Most first responders carry the drug, but not all police departments have stocked up. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island’s health insurance commissioner is requiring insurance companies to put more money into so-called alternative models for paying doctors. That means directing more payments toward quality instead of the number of visits to the doctor’s office.

Update: Our Lady of Fatima Hospital has withdrawn its application to open a new obstetrics unit, according to the RI Dept. of Health.

Rhode Island Hospital’s application to open a new child birth unit has been deemed complete by the Rhode Island Department of Health. That's just one pending application for a new obstetrics unit.

Patients Oppose Fees On Medical Marijuana Plants

Feb 11, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Medical marijuana patients are speaking out against what they're calling a tax on marijuana plants. Patients say they’re concerned the marijuana will become unaffordable.

The Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition and the ACLU of Rhode Island are asking Gov. Gina Raimondo to drop the proposal, which would add a $150 to $350 dollar-a -year fee for each plant grown by patients and caregivers. The Raimondo administration says the revenue caregivers earn from selling medical marijuana to patients is significant enough to offset the fee.

RI Hospital Acknowledges Delay In Reporting Assault

Feb 11, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island Hospital acknowledges there was a delay in providing the name of an employee suspected of assaulting a patient to the Providence Police. Hospital officials say they’re reviewing hospital practice to determine what caused the delay and prevent it from occurring in the future.

The employee is accused of inappropriately touching a patient. Hospital officials say they’re troubled by the allegation and will assist police with the criminal investigation.

APCD Council, a collaboration between the University of New Hampshire and the National Association of Health Data Organizations

Rhode Island now has access to a new source of information about health care activities and costs. The All Payer Claims Database launches this week- "all payer" meaning that it includes information from every health insurer, Medicaid, and Medicare. It's intended to help state agencies and researchers find out more about what works and what doesn’t in health care, where health care dollars are going, and track trends.

Brown Health Experts To Discuss Zika Fact and Fiction

Feb 9, 2016
Cynthia Goldsmith / CDC

At Brown University, health experts will sort fact from fiction on the Zika virus on Wednesday.

Zika virus has been spreading throughout South America. The World Health Organization recently declared it a public health emergency.

But so much is still unknown about the disease. Concerns are growing about the virus’ suspected link to birth defects, but that link has not been confirmed. And there’s still some uncertainty about how the virus spreads.

Wikimedia Commons

Women and Infants Hospital has a new service for patients with serious illness, to help them avoid a stay in the hospital. It's another sign that hospitals are increasingly turning to outpatient services to help patients – and save money.

For the first time ever, the hospital is offering palliative care right in the cancer clinic.  Kate Lally, MD runs the hospital’s palliative care program.

Wikimedia Commons

Health care providers are reacting to Governor Gina Raimondo’s budget proposal. Among them – home health care agencies, who say wage increases in the budget aren’t enough. 

  The average starting wage for a home health care worker is about $10.50. Raimondo’s budget calls for a 7 percent increase for home health care workers paid by Medicaid.

But that’s a drop in the bucket according to Nicholas Oliver from the Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care. Oliver says his member agencies are having a hard time hanging on to staff.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A budget proposal is like a map, showing you where an agency wants to invest more money, and where it plans to cut. It reveals an administration’s priorities for the future– and holds them accountable for what they did or didn’t accomplish in the past. I’ll be your tour guide for this year’s health and human services proposal.

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