Health Care

Health Care
5:36 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

State Releases First Statistics On Babies Born Drug-Dependent In RI

The state’s health department says the number of babies born in Rhode Island to mothers dependent on opiates has nearly doubled in the past few years.

In 2012, it was 90 babies, more than double the number in 2005. So far, in the first quarter of this year, it’s 26 newborns.

This is the first time health department researchers have compiled statistics on babies diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome, a collection of symptoms that afflict babies in withdrawal from the drugs they were exposed to in the womb. 

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Health Care
11:33 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Rx Drug Monitoring, Insurance Coverage For Addiction Bills Clear Senate Hurdle

Bills aimed at curbing drug addiction and overdose passed in Senate committee.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

A state senate committee has recommended passage of two bills aimed at curbing prescription drug and heroin abuse.

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Health Care
5:01 am
Mon April 28, 2014

CharterCare Sale Hearing Tonight; Rebuffed Suitor Cries Foul

Tonight, the public will have the chance to comment on the proposed sale of CharterCare Health Partners – which owns Our Lady of Fatima and Roger Williams hospitals – to California-based Prospect Medical Holdings. But the process hasn’t been without some bumps in the road.

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Health Care
1:59 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

United Healthcare, Landmark Await Ruling On Network

Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket is only a few months into its new chapter as a for-profit hospital.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The public comment period has ended and now the Rhode Island health department must decide whether United Healthcare can cut Landmark Medical Center from its insurance network. The decision could affect thousands of patients.

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Health Care
9:08 am
Wed April 23, 2014

RI's Eldery Latino Population Increasingly Isolated

Elderly Latinos in Rhode Island and their families may not be aware of the programs available to help them.  That’s the premise of a conference planned for Wednesday at Rhode Island College.

RIC’s gerontology program is hosting the conference, called “Meeting the Needs of Latino Elderly.” The idea is to draw attention to state programs Latinos and their families might not know about because of language barriers or immigration status. But Latino community advocate and conference moderator Delia Rodriquez Masjoan said those aren’t the only reasons.

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Health Care
11:45 am
Tue April 22, 2014

CurrentCare Must Spell Out How To Change, Remove Records

A statewide electronic health records program must be more transparent and offer patients more privacy protections. That’s the result of a suit brought by the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

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Health Care
3:04 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Free Dental Clinic Aims To Treat 1,000

Participants at a free Rhode Island dental clinic last year.
Credit Flo Jonic / RIPR

A cadre of dental health care providers will attempt to provide free dental care for 1,000 uninsured patients next month. Organizers have announced the dates for the third annual free dental clinic.

The Rhode Island Oral Health Foundation says volunteers will to try to help hundreds of patients over May 31st and June 1st on the campus of the Community College of Rhode Island. It's called the Rhode Island Mission of Mercy free dental clinic. The idea is to help poor patients with urgent dental problems.

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Health Care
1:32 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

RI Launches New Programs To Treat Addicts, Prevent Overdoses

From left to right: State police chief Col. Stephen O'Donnell, Governor Lincoln Chafee, Health department director Dr. Michael Fine, Dept. of Behavior Health head Craig Stenning, and the Providence Center's Jim Gillen at a press conference Thursday at the Anchor Community Recovery Center in Pawtucket, discuss a reporter's question.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State leaders have announced some new steps in the fight against prescription painkiller and heroin addiction. The news accompanies the release of the latest grim numbers of drug overdose deaths.  

Rhode Island health department head Michael Fine told a standing-room-only crowd at the Anchor Community Recovery Center in Pawtucket that 85 people have died since January from suspected drug overdoses, mostly heroin. Hundreds more have overdosed but survived, he said, thanks to an antidote called Narcan, which first responders carry.

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Health Care
4:14 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Flu Declared Widespread A Second Time This Season

Syringes filled with flu vaccine
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

For the second time this season, the Rhode Island health department has declared flu widespread. That means that any unvaccinated health care workers must wear surgical masks around patients until the declaration of “widespread” is lifted. Flu was declared widespread in Rhode Island for most of January and February this year. But the health department says this time is more intense than the first.

The dominant strain now affects the elderly, in particular. 13 people have died from flu in Rhode Island this season, all of them in their 80s and 90s.

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Health Care
3:51 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

House Committee Considers Bills to Legalize Pot, Expand Medical Marijuana

State lawmakers are scheduled to consider several marijuana-related bills this evening. At issue is expanding access to medical marijuana and, once again, legalizing the drug for anyone over the age of 21.

Seven marijuana-related bills are before the House Committee on Judiciary. One would legalize marijuana for all adults, regulating it like alcohol and taxing sales. That’s been proposed before and failed, but other states have since legalized it.

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