Health Care

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island has been awarded $130 million dollars over the next five years from the federal government to continue its work overhauling Medicaid. The health insurance program for the poor serves nearly one in three Rhode Islanders. The money is earmarked for efforts that pay for better quality care instead of the quantity of care.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island’s Department of Human Services has submitted its corrective action plan to the U.S. Food and Nutrition Service. That’s what the federal agency required when it discovered a number of problems with Rhode Island’s new online benefits system, UHIP.

Excessive wait times and overcrowding in DHS field offices. Computer glitches. A lack of staff training on the new system. The problems got so bad with the state’s new system for food stamps and other benefits that the federal agency asked them to draw up an emergency plan to fix the problems.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Low income Rhode Islanders who seek help from emergency food banks are still going hungry. That’s according to a new report from the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. 

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

State Medicaid programs – including Rhode Island – fail to provide enough access to cures for hepatitis C. That’s the conclusion of a new report from Harvard Law School’s Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation and the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable. The authors say restricting treatment is illegal.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A new community health clinic has opened in Scituate. Organizers hope it will pave the way for greater access to health care in the area. The new Scituate Neighborhood Health Station models itself on a similar clinic in Central Falls.

The Health Station is the brainchild of former state Health Department Director Doctor Michael Fine, who recently cut the ribbon on a Neighborhood Health Station in Central Falls. The clinics provide sliding-scale fees for health care and reach out to residents in the community.

Marc Birnbach / Americares

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found evidence that more than 1,000 pregnant women in the United States may have been infected with Zika virus this year.

A Rhode Island company has now developed clothing aimed at protecting pregnant women against Zika. The apparel is being distributed at a clinic in El Salvador by Americares, a Connecticut-based non-profit.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A state of uncertainty lingers for Rhode Island’s online health insurance marketplace, HealthSource RI, now that Donald Trump has been elected president. Trump has promised to repeal Obamacare, which made the exchanges possible. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State Health and human services officials say they’re preparing a response to the warning they’ve received from the federal government. Aa federal agency has threatened to decrease administrative funding for food stamps.

The U.S. Food and Nutrition Service sent a letter asking the state for a corrective action plan to fix its glitch new benefits system, UHIP . Health and human services director Melba Depena Affigne says one of the biggest problems they have to address is the number of people who are waiting too long for benefits.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Police departments in our region and around the country are scrambling to respond to the opioid addiction crisis. 

Karen Brown / NEPR/NENC

Massachusetts is one of about 40 states where someone who abuses drugs or alcohol to an extreme can be legally committed to a locked treatment facility -- along with Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. Rhode Island allows legal commitment only for alcohol addiction. In most cases, a worried family member has to go to court to make that happen.

But one recent trend that has surprised even court officials is how many addicts are appealing directly to a judge — willing to give up their civil rights in exchange for some help.

FORUM Seizing the Moment to End HepC
Aaron Read

Seizing the Moment to End Hepatitis C:
A Discussion with Experts and Advocates

WATCH THE ARCHIVED VIDEO WEBCAST HERE

Dank Depot / flickr

The Rhode Island Council for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, or RICCAP, is warning against legalizing recreational marijuana. The organization has issued a statement about the drug’s impact on young people.

RIPR file photo

Open enrollment for health insurance plans on Rhode Island’s exchange, HealthSource RI, begins Tuesday, November 1st. There will be fewer plans, but lower premiums this time around.

Monthly premiums are increasing by double digits for health insurance plans sold on the federal Obamacare exchange. But in Rhode Island, HealthSource RI head Zach Sherman says it's just the opposite.

National Institutes of Health

The Rhode Island Department of Health is expanding free breast cancer follow up care for more low-income women. The program used to help only uninsured women get follow-up care after an abnormal finding during breast cancer screening. Now the program will help women who are insured but can’t afford co-pays and deductibles.

Breast cancer follow-up services include things like diagnostic breast imaging and biopsies.

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