Health Care

Westerly Hospital Sale
2:18 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Public has Two More Chances to Comment on Westerly Hospital Sale

The public will be allowed to comment on the proposed sale at two meetings on Wednesday.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island authorities have until the end of April to make a decision about whether to allow the sale of Westerly Hospital to Connecticut-based Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, but on Wednesday members of the Westerly community will have the chance to comment on the proposed sale.

The Department of Health and the attorney general’s office have final say on the deal, but Attorney General Peter Kilmartin says public input helps to inform the decision.

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Health Care
5:00 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Roger Williams, Fatima Open Senior-Friendly ERs

Credit Medical School / Tufts University

Roger Williams Medical Center and Fatima Hospital have opened what they say are the state’s first emergency rooms designed to take better care of the elderly.

Hospital officials say it’s taken a year to renovate and retrofit both emergency rooms so that the physical environments are safer and more welcoming for seniors. Think non-skid floors, large print hospital forms, and portable devices to help the hard of hearing.

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Health Care
3:46 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Study: Rhode Island Has Too Many Hospital Beds

How many hospital beds do we need?
Credit US Navy

Rhode Island could do with the equivalent of one fewer hospital. That’s the conclusion of a draft report meant to guide the state’s health care planning.

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Health Care
2:53 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

URI Grant Winner Hopes to Spread Vaccine Awareness

Credit Steven Depolo / flickr

A professor of pharmacy at the University of Rhode Island has just received a grant from the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer; the grant will be used to boost the rate of pneumonia vaccines in the state.

According Dr. Kerry LaPlante there has been a rise in cases of invasive pneumonia in RI, reaching 11.9 percent of the population, about 3 points higher than the national average.

LaPlante and her team plan to use the $700,00 grant to increase awareness and availability of the vaccine to those most at risk.

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Health Care
12:34 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

Lifespan Facing "Significant" Budget Shortfall

The state’s largest hospital system is facing some unanticipated budget shortfalls. Lifespan isn’t saying yet whether the fix will include layoffs.

Lifespan released a statement saying it had asked employees and physicians to review their budgets and look for ways to trim expenses. No word yet on what immediate steps the organization might take to stem the financial losses - but Lifespan says they won’t compromise patient care and that they’ll "work hard to minimize the impact on...employees."

Health Care
1:31 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Fatima, Roger Williams Ink Deal with For-Profit Firm

CharterCARE, the umbrella organization for Our Lady of Fatima and Roger Williams hospitals, has announced its intent to partner with Prospect Medical Holdings, a for-profit health care firm based in California. The deal is in its infancy. But it's the fourth proposed hospital merger/acquisition under Rhode Islands Hospital Conversions Act. And it's yet another sign of the shaky financial ground on which many of the state's hospitals now find themselves.

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Health Care
8:28 am
Mon March 18, 2013

URI Student Rooms with Nursing Home Resident

A University of Rhode Island pharmacy student has just completed an unusual experiment. Twenty-four year old Emily Anastasia spent a week living in a retirement center, South Bay Retirement Living in South Kingstown,  where her roommate was a 92 year old woman.

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Health Care
5:48 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Medicaid Report Finds Some Fraud; Bigger Problem is Data Sharing

Secretary Steven Costantino, left, and Director Sandra Powell, far right, at a Wednesday press conference on the Ken Block report.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee has released a new report on Medicaid fraud. Lawmakers and citizen groups had been pressuring Chafee to make the report public.

And, after declining for fear of jeopardizing fraud investigations, Chafee finally released the report, along with several proposed anti-fraud bills and a timeline of his administration’s efforts over the past few years to crack down on corruption.  

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The Silver Boom: Aging in Rhode Island
12:00 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

The Silver Boom: Cost of Long-Term Care in Rhode Island

These are the average costs, over time, of some long-term care options in Rhode Island.

Note that the assisted living figure is monthly ($3528 in 2012), the nursing home rate is daily ($265 in 2012), and the home health aide figure is hourly ($24 in 2012).  That means that if you or a loved one needed 365 days of nursing home care, for example, the cost would be about $97,000 for the year. If you needed about 20 hours of help a week from a home health aide every day of the year, that would work out to about $25,000.

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Health Care
4:00 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

The Silver Boom: A Growing Shortage of Mental Health Specialists

Dr. Robert Kohn, geriatric psychiatrist
Credit Brown University

Will we have enough geriatric specialists to take care of Rhode Island's aging population?

In less than 20 years, a quarter of the state’s population will be older than 60. In a series we call “The Silver Boom: Aging in Rhode Island,” we’re looking this week at how the state will take care of this expanding older population, and how the state benefits from these older residents.

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