Health Care

In a switch, the head of Rhode Island’s version of Obamacare says HealthSourceRI won’t need about $5 million dollars in state funding for the next fiscal year.

HealthSourceRI director Christine Ferguson last week said the exchange would need $4.6 million dollars in state money to keep going next year.

Healthsource RI Needs $4.6M For 2015

May 23, 2014

Rhode Island's health insurance exchange HealthSource RI says it needs $4.6 million dollars to keep running through fiscal year 2015.

The money would need to come from the state.  HealthSource RI director Christine Ferguson says the money would cover the program's operating costs, and will allow federal funding to cover program development.

Health Dept. Approves CharterCare, Prospect Deal

May 20, 2014

The Rhode Island Health Department has approved the affiliation of CharterCare with the California-based for-profit Prospect Medical Holdings. The state’s attorney general approved the deal last week.

20 More Primary Care Practices To Join CSI-RI

May 20, 2014

A statewide effort to link more Rhode Islanders with primary care is expanding.

The effort is called the Chronic Care Sustainability Initiative, or CSI.CSI promotes the patient-centered medical home model of health care. In a patient centered medical home, a team of health care professionals coordinates a patient’s care. It’s especially helpful for patients with chronic illnesses, although anyone can join.

Planned Parenthood clinics are known for family planning – everything from testing for sexually transmitted diseases to prescribing birth control and performing abortions. But now, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England plans to offer more comprehensive primary care services at its Providence clinic. Rhode Island Public Radio health care reporter Kristin Gourlay spoke with the organization’s president and CEO Judy Tabar about the news.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has conducted audits of medical centers around the country after allegations emerged that some centers had concealed appointment wait times. The Providence VA was audited on Friday last week. 

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs secretary Eric Shinseki ordered the audits to uncover any other scheduling problems or misconduct. Providence VA spokeswoman Leslie Pierson says auditors spent all day Friday interviewing staff about scheduling practices.

Pilot Program Links Doctors With Addiction Experts

May 19, 2014

State officials have announced another tool to help physicians spot and treat drug abuse.

RI AG Approves CharterCare/Prospect Deal

May 16, 2014

Rhode Island’s Attorney General has approved the affiliation of the nonprofit CharterCare Health system and the California-based for-profit Prospect Medical Holdings. CharterCare operates Roger Williams, St. Joseph’s, and Our Lady of Fatima hospitals.

CVS Gets Green Light To Open Retail Clinics In RI

May 15, 2014
Megan Hall / RIPR

The nation’s largest pharmacy chain has been given the green light to open seven retail health care clinics in Rhode Island. CVS pharmacies’ MinuteClinics would see patients for minor illnesses and perform some routine health screenings. But state health officials' approval comes with several conditions.

RIPR FILE

University of Rhode Island officials are reviewing police records of 20 students involved in a house party gone bad last weekend in Narragansett. URI vice president for student affairs Tom Dougan says police issued citations and made arrests for everything from launching beer bottles to destroying property and underage drinking.

Now, Dougan says the university will consider a range of sanctions in each student’s case.

Will They Walk Again? Injured Acrobats Face Long Rehab

May 7, 2014
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Homemade cards and flowers are pouring in to Rhode Island Hospital for the seven injured circus acrobats who remain hospitalized there. That’s buoyed the performers’ spirits, four of whom are still in serious condition.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

More Rhode Island babies are being born dependent on the opioid drugs their pregnant mothers were taking. Their condition, called neonatal abstinence syndrome, sometimes requires hospital stays and powerful medications. In the second of our two-part series, the story of a newborn going through withdrawal and a young mother trying to make a new life for him in recovery. (You can listen to part one of our series here.)

Visiting baby Jonathan
“Where’s everybody headed?”

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

More Rhode Island babies are being born dependent on the opioid drugs (including OxyContin and heroin) their pregnant mothers were taking. Many of these babies need hospital stays and powerful medication to help them through the painful withdrawal. Now, researchers at Women & Infants Hospital are trying to pin down what treatments work best, and what the long-term impacts are. Part one of our two-part series on newborns in withdrawal.

A rough entry into the world

(Sound: subtle whirring of the nursery)

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. 

Aaron Read / RIPR

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

Pages