Health Care

Health Care
6:00 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Learning To Respect A Patient's Wishes At The End Of Life

Second-year resident Dr. Mark Salmon at the bedside of patient Melissa Smith (played by actress Melissa Bowler). In this simulation, Melissa Smith is dying from advanced ovarian cancer. Smith's mother Terry (played by Terry Rochon, RN) looks to Dr. Salmon for reassurance.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Talking about dying is difficult for most people, including doctors. But can they learn a better way to help patients nearing the end of their lives? Can health care systems learn to respect those wishes? Here’s one experiment to find out.

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Dr. Kate Lally gathers a group of second year residents outside a patient’s room at Kent Hospital in Warwick. Lally explains the patient they’re about to examine is 34-year-old Melissa Smith. She has advanced ovarian cancer. Until now, she’s been in hospice care at home, keeping comfortable.

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Health Care
9:58 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Testimony Begins On Proposed Medicaid Cuts

Statehouse lawmakers heard testimony on proposed medicaid cuts Thursday.
Credit RIPR FILE

State lawmakers heard testimony Wednesday on several proposals to cut Medicaid spending. Governor Gina Raimondo’s proposed budget would cut state payments to nursing homes by three percent. 

That’s on top of rates that have stayed stagnant for a while.  Woonsocket nursing home administrator Shaun Cournoyer testified before the senate finance committee those cuts would lead to layoffs. 

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Health Care
11:06 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Hearings Begin On Proposed Cuts To Medicaid

Lawmakers begin hearings today on proposed cuts to Medicaid, the state’s medical assistance program for the poor.

Gov. Gina Raimondo has asked a task force to recommend ways to trim $90 million dollars in state spending on Medicaid. The senate finance committee is scheduled to hear testimony about several budget proposals that would cut payments to hospitals and nursing homes.

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Health Care
9:18 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Proponents Claim Eliminating 'Caregivers' Would Create Stronger Medical Marijuana Regulation

Medical marijuana has been legal in Rhode Island since 2006.
Credit Federal Wildlife Service

A bill that would eliminate caregivers from the state’s medical marijuana program continues to stir up controversy. But a lobbyist behind the bill says his client simply wants more regulation of the medical marijuana industry.

So-called caregivers are allowed to grow a small number of medical marijuana plants for a few patients. They’ve launched a campaign to discredit a bill that would replace caregivers with two growing and distribution centers. Lobbyist Peter Petrarca denies claims the bill would only benefit his client, Rhode Island Growers and Distributors LLC.

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Health Care
9:06 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Rising Tide: To Survive Rough Times, Women Business Owners Join Forces

Members of Seniors RULE, including Sarah Scaramella (bottom right), gather for lunch at a diner in Warwick.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

This story is part of our series “Rising Tide,” about how – or whether - Rhode Islanders are emerging from the deepest economic recession since the 1930s. The question we’re asking is: does a rising tide really lift all boats, or are some Rhode Islanders still being left behind?

Today, we visit a diner in Warwick, where a group of women have joined forces to beat tough times.

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