Health Care

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Evidence is mounting that Prince may have died of a drug overdose. While the medical examiner hasn’t given definitive proof of that, drug overdose in middle age is actually more common than some of us might think. Here's why this group is at high risk.

Gilead Sciences

Rhode Island Medicaid is revisiting its policy for determining who receives pricey hepatitis C drugs. Current policy limits who gets treated and when, but those restrictions could be loosened.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Care New England, the parent organization of Women and Infants, Memorial, Butler, and Kent Hospitals, as well as The Providence Center, has announced it’s pursuing a formal alliance with Southcoast Health. The two health systems face several hurdles before their partnership can be official.

The boards of both organizations approved the proposed affiliation today  after announcing its possibility last November. What happens next is a regulatory review process in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, where Southcoast has a chain of community hospitals.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) convenes federal and state public health experts today to talk about Rhode Island’s Zika prevention plan. One of the goals is to prepare as mosquito season approaches.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A nonprofit that makes nutritional supplements for malnourished children is expanding operations in Rhode Island. Edesia has cut the ribbon on a new 83,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Quonset Business Park.

Edesia makes packets of what’s called ready-to-use food - essentially a heavily fortified peanut butter meant to treat severe malnutrition in children.

The company says packets were distributed to nearly a million children in 2015, most recently to Syrian refugees and victims of the Ethiopian drought.

Memorial Hospital

A nurses’ union has sued Memorial Hospital’s parent company, Care New England, to try to maintain obstetrics and other services at the Pawtucket-based community hospital. They're asking regulators to look for more alternatives to maintaining the hospital as it is.

Welcome to Central Falls sign
RIPR file

A new healthcare effort in Central Falls is getting a boost. A program called the Neighborhood Health Station has won a grant to pay for outreach workers to prevent overdose deaths and reduce emergency room use.

RIPR file photo

Rhode Island’s health insurance exchange says UnitedHealthcare will stop offering plans in 2017. That means health insurance consumers will have fewer options in the coming open enrollment period.

Cynthia Goldsmith / CDC

The Rhode Island Department of Health says the first case of Zika virus has been confirmed in the state. The state health agency says the man is in his 60s and recently traveled to Haiti. That’s one of the countries where Zika transmission is active.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid

New data from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid brings greater insight into health disparities at the local level.

RIPR FILE

Just two decades ago, the vast majority of Rhode Island children had elevated levels of lead in their blood when they were tested at the start of Kindergarten. Today, the percentage has dropped into the single digits, according to Rhode Island Kids Count Executive Director Elizabeth Burke Bryant, whose organization started tracking blood lead statistics in the mid-1990s.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

An increasing number of pregnant women are in treatment for opioid addiction. They face a heart-wrenching dilemma: stop taking the medication that’s helped them stay sober, or risk a baby born in withdrawal.

Now, researchers want to know if they can predict how severe that withdrawal will be, and whether they can head symptoms off before they get worse. And they're recruiting mothers like Ashley to help them answer those questions.

Kristin Gourlay / ripr

  Hospitals could face another rate cut under the Medicaid budget proposed for this fiscal year. Tension over the cuts came up during a budget hearing this week.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

More than 1,000 Rhode Islanders have died from accidental drug overdoses in the past five years. Many more have been revived, thanks to first responders and emergency room workers.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Two employees of Zambarano Hospital in Burrillville have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. A spokeswoman for the state department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Hospitals says the agency has referred findings from an internal review to state police.

Pages