Health Care

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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Health Care
5:00 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Last Day on Job for RI's First Health Insurance Commissioner

Today is the last day on the job for Rhode Island’s –and the nation’s—first commissioner of health insurance. Chris Koller is leaving the position to take the helm of a foundation in New York City. He leaves behind some significant changes in the health insurance marketplace.

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Health Care
7:44 am
Thu June 27, 2013

DOMA Ruling Won't Change Much For RI's Largest Health Insurer

It’s unclear how exactly Wednesday's Supreme Court decision on DOMA will affect health care coverage for same-sex spouses. But Rhode Island’s largest health insurer has already been extending such benefits.

As an employer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island has been offering health coverage to its employees’ same-sex spouses since 2010, said Blue cross compliance officer Martha Holt Castle.

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Health Care
1:29 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Rhode Island Health Insurer Reacts to DOMA Decision

It’s unclear how exactly Wednesday's U.S. Supreme Court decision on DOMA will affect health care coverage for same-sex spouses. But Rhode Island’s largest health insurer has already been extending such benefits.

As an employer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island has been offering health coverage to its employees’ same-sex spouses since 2010, said Blue Cross compliance officer Martha Holt Castle.

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Health Care
5:23 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Westerly Hospital Settles with DOJ Over Doctor-Hospital Deal

Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Westerly Hospital has reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over agreements it made with doctors not to compete for business. Westerly officials haven’t admitted wrongdoing, but the hospital’s arrangement with doctors may have contributed to higher patient costs.

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