Health Care

CharterCARE, the umbrella organization for Our Lady of Fatima and Roger Williams hospitals, has announced its intent to partner with Prospect Medical Holdings, a for-profit health care firm based in California. The deal is in its infancy. But it's the fourth proposed hospital merger/acquisition under Rhode Islands Hospital Conversions Act. And it's yet another sign of the shaky financial ground on which many of the state's hospitals now find themselves.

URI Student Rooms with Nursing Home Resident

Mar 18, 2013

A University of Rhode Island pharmacy student has just completed an unusual experiment. Twenty-four year old Emily Anastasia spent a week living in a retirement center, South Bay Retirement Living in South Kingstown,  where her roommate was a 92 year old woman.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Governor Lincoln Chafee has released a new report on Medicaid fraud. Lawmakers and citizen groups had been pressuring Chafee to make the report public.

And, after declining for fear of jeopardizing fraud investigations, Chafee finally released the report, along with several proposed anti-fraud bills and a timeline of his administration’s efforts over the past few years to crack down on corruption.  

These are the average costs, over time, of some long-term care options in Rhode Island.

Note that the assisted living figure is monthly ($3528 in 2012), the nursing home rate is daily ($265 in 2012), and the home health aide figure is hourly ($24 in 2012).  That means that if you or a loved one needed 365 days of nursing home care, for example, the cost would be about $97,000 for the year. If you needed about 20 hours of help a week from a home health aide every day of the year, that would work out to about $25,000.

Brown University

Will we have enough geriatric specialists to take care of Rhode Island's aging population?

In less than 20 years, a quarter of the state’s population will be older than 60. In a series we call “The Silver Boom: Aging in Rhode Island,” we’re looking this week at how the state will take care of this expanding older population, and how the state benefits from these older residents.

US Dept. of Health and Human Services / Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Felicia Lesnett / The Providence Center

In less than 20 years, a quarter of the state’s population will be older than 60.  In a series we call “The Silver Boom: Aging in Rhode Island,” we’re looking this week at how the state will take care of this expanding older population, and how it can benefit from it. Here’s an in-depth look at the growing problem of substance abuse and addiction among seniors, beginning at a community recovery center in Pawtucket.

Sam Bynum wasn’t born an alcoholic. But, like many alcoholics will tell you, the signs were there early on.

Are you caring for aging parents, or an aging spouse? Have you had to find a long term care option? What was helpful? What do you wish you had known before you started?

Please share your experiences and join the discussion in our comments section below.

Division of Elderly Affairs

Catherine Taylor, Director of Rhode Island's Division of Elderly Affairs, joined us in our studio earlier to help us kick off our series, The Silver Boom: Aging in Rhode Island. You'll find a link to listen to that interview below.

She also sent us these thoughts about how Rhode Island seniors can break out of isolation and find help.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin wants to institute a national background check for nursing home workers. Federal grant money – and some extra costs for nursing homes – are at stake.

Rhode Island Sen. Josh Miller has introduced a wide-ranging health care reform bill he hopes will give consumers more information about the costs and quality of the care they receive.

Miller’s bill tries to tackle several major health care reform goals the state has been moving towards in one package. It includes strategies to rein in health care costs and boost consumer access to information about those costs.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The General Assembly is scheduled to hear testimony today on legislation banning drugs like synthetic marijuana and bath salts. The proposed legislation comes from Rhode Island's Attorney General.

National Program of Cancer Registries / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has helped pass a new cancer research law that targets pancreatic and other hard-to-treat cancers. Whitehouse lost his own mother to pancreatic cancer several years ago. The legislation aims to boost early detection and treatment.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates this year’s flu vaccine was effective about fifty percent of the time. But the vaccine was much less protective for older adults.

The CDC found that vaccinations against influenza types A and B were about 56 percent effective overall. But in people aged 65 and older, the vaccines only worked 27 percent of the time. But Rhode Island Department of Health director Doctor Michael Fine says that’s no reason NOT to get vaccinated.

In Rhode Island, medical marijuana is already legal, through people who are so-called “caregivers” selling to patients. The state has established three “compassion centers” that haven’t opened yet. In Massachusetts, regulators are still considering how to implement the law. Doctors there want tighter controls.

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