Health Care

Affordable Care Act
3:20 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

RI Rolls Out Details of its Health Insurance Exchange

Gov. Lincoln Chafee looks on as Congressman Jim Langevin talks about the importance of health insurance at the HealthSource RI ribbon cutting.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

Rhode Island’s Health Benefits Exchange has a new name, a new logo and is looking to hire dozens of people. 

From here on out, Rhode Island’s Health Benefits Exchange will be known as HealthSource RI, and it’s looking to hire 50 to 75 people to sign folks up for health insurance, starting in October.

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Health Care
5:51 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Shigella Bacteria Sickens 92, Hospitalizes 16

Shigella bacteria in a lab sample
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Rhode Island Department of Health says a bacteria called shigella is responsible for sickening 92 people with bloody diarrhea, sending many to the emergency room and hospitalizing 16, including children. All had been swimming in a lake in Burrillville. 

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Health Care
5:00 am
Tue July 9, 2013

New Hope for Rare but Deadly Mosquito-Borne EEE

The EEE virus, extracted from the Culiseta melanura mosquito.
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A Rhode Island Hospital neurologist says there’s evidence that early, aggressive treatment can help the unlucky few who catch Eastern Equine Encephalitis each year in the United States. Neurointensivist (a neurologist with additional training in intensive neurological conditions) Dr. Linda Wendell has published an account of the hospital’s successful treatment of a young man with EEE.    

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Health Care
5:40 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

85 Now Reported Sick from Burrillville Lake

Spring Lake Beach facility in Burrillville, RI.
Credit Town of Burrillville

New reports of illness are still coming in as Rhode Island Department of Health officials look into an outbreak of bloody diarrhea among people who swam in Spring Lake in Burrillville on July 4th. So far, 85 people have been reported ill, and nine admitted to the hospital, according to the department. But so far, there's no clue about what specifically made them sick. Water test results have not found any bacteria but the department is re-testing. Results from those tests and from patients' stool samples could provide more answers tomorrow.

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Health Care
5:00 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Brown Researchers Find Genetic Clue for Autism

Researcher Eric Morrow and his team found an intriguing pattern in the DNA of 500 children with autism and an intellectual disability.
Credit Mike Cohea / Brown University

Brown University researchers say they have discovered a possible genetic variation that can lead to autism and an intellectual disability. What’s more, the discovery may explain why one sibling can be affected while another isn’t.

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Health Care
1:14 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Headed for the Beach? Water Quality's Improving.

Less than 5% of water samples at Misquamicut State Beach exceeded national bacterial standards in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A new report about Rhode Island’s beaches finds steady improvements in the water quality since 2008. Health officials closed beaches for fewer days last year than it did in 2011, and more improvements are in the works.

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Health Care
4:28 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Hittner Confirmed as RI's Next Health Insurance Commissioner

Dr. Kathleen Hittner is Rhode Island's next commissioner of health insurance.
Credit Rhode Island Foundation

Kathleen Hittner, MD has been confirmed as Rhode Island’s next commissioner of health insurance. She replaces Chris Koller, who left office last week for a new position in New York. Hittner is a former Lifespan and Miriam hospital executive, as well as a former chief anesthesiologist for two hospitals. She says she intends to carry on Koller’s work.

“I have met with Chris Koller three times, going over his initiatives, so I understand what’s going on," Hittner said. "There isn’t anything Chris was doing that I think shouldn’t be continued.”

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Health Care
11:32 am
Tue July 2, 2013

General Assembly Bans Sale of E-Cigarettes to Minors

The General Assembly has approved legislation that bans the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

Electronic cigarettes,  also known as e-cigarettes, are electronic nicotine delivery systems shaped like cigarettes or cigars. They deliver nicotine to a user in the form of vapor. 

The sponsor of the bill, Majority Leader Dominic Ruggerio, said getting kids hooked on nicotine through e-cigarettes is just as bad as getting them started on regular cigarettes.

Health Care
12:12 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Health Insurance Premiums Up for '14, But Less Than Proposed

Rhode Islanders who buy health insurance individually or through a small employer now have an idea how much their monthly premiums will be in 2014. The state’s outgoing commissioner of health insurance approved rates lower than insurance companies requested, although just about everyone’s health insurance bill will be going up.

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Health Care
5:19 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Prime's Application to Buy Landmark Now Complete

Credit Catherine Welch / RIPR

Rhode Island regulators have deemed Prime Healthcare’s application to buy Woonsocket’s Landmark Medical Center complete.

Now the Attorney General and Department of Health can begin their official review of California-based Prime Healthcare’s bid to buy the troubled community hospital. That review begins July 1st and ends October 28th under Rhode Island’s Hospital Conversion Act.

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