Health Care

Meningitis outbreak and pain management clinics

Oct 5, 2012

One of the facilities in Rhode Island that received shipments of steroids used in spinal injections happens to be a pain management clinic. The other is an anesthesiology clinic. There were no hospitals or other regulated facilities on the list of places in RI to have dispensed the contaminated steroid. (And if you were one of those patients, the clinic has already notified you or is still trying to, according to the RI Dept. of Health.)

The University of Rhode Island’s nursing school announced today that it has won $3.8M in federal grants – a huge number for a small school, and for nursing, at that. You can read more about those grants in our news coverage here and see URI’s press release here.

Future Docs, Part 1: Meet Sarah and Peter

Oct 3, 2012

Mandated flu vaccines?–UPDATE

Sep 27, 2012

UPDATE: As of today, October 5, 2012, the Rhode Island Department of Health has issued a ruling that it will mandate flu vaccines for all health care workers and volunteers. You can get a medical exemption with a note from your doctor, or fill out a form saying you refuse to get the shot but understand you’ll have to wear a surgical mask when interacting with patients during flu season. Link to the state regulation (it’s a .pdf).

Suicide now kills more people than car wrecks

Sep 21, 2012

A troubling finding out this week in the American Journal of Public Health.The article, “Leading Causes of Unintentional and Intentional Injury Mortality: United States, 2000-2009,” by Ian R. H. Rockett, et al., looked at data from the National Center for Health Statistics on all kinds of intentional and accidental  injury-related deaths, and in particular at five causes: suicide, car accidents, homicide, poisoning, and falls. Here’s what they found:

The health insurance cost paradox

Sep 19, 2012

I just spoke with RI health insurance commissioner Christopher Koller, who shared a repeat-worthy fact, and I quote:

Primary care is the only part of our delivery system where the more we have, the lower our overall costs are. We can’t say that about anything else. And yet, historically, we’ve only spent six percent of our dollars on primary care.

Health benefits exchanges in the spotlight…literally

Sep 17, 2012

States that have chosen to make their own online marketplaces for health insurance are moving ahead, some more quickly than others. And there’s no time to lose: these exchanges have to come online in 2014, under the Affordable Care Act timeline. (Here’s an update on where states are with their exchanges.)

Introducing Future Docs

Sep 13, 2012

Welcome! We're launching a new series here on Rhode Island Public Radio. It's called Future Docs. Part one airs October 3, 2012. But there's much more right here, online.

We hope you'll visit this site often to keep up to date on Future Docs and join the conversation. Feel free to:

About Future Docs

Sep 13, 2012

From Rhode Island Public Radio, Future Docs is a radio and online documentary project that follows the experiences of medical students and residents as they become doctors. They are our “Future Docs.” Our key question: what’s it like to become a doctor today in Rhode Island, and how is that changing? Along the way, we’re talking to experts, analyzing relevant news, and looking beyond Rhode Island’s borders to create a richer picture of doctor education today.

Participants

Sep 13, 2012

Peter Kaminski

In his words: The son of Polish refugees who left the country during the Cold War, I was born in Idaho in 1988 but I’ve spent most of my life growing up in Acton, Massachusetts. After high school I attended college at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, earning a bachelors degree in Microbiology and Public Health while working as an Emergency Medical Technician.

Resources

Sep 13, 2012

Selected reading – an evolving list:

News

  • American Medical Association news about graduate medical education
  • Commentary in the Association of American Medical Colleges journal Academic Medicine, “Education the Present and Future Health Care Workforce to Provide Care to Populations”
  • NY Tim article: “Luring students into family medicine,” (Sept. ’12)

The health costs of post-9/11 wars

Sep 11, 2012

On this solemn anniversary, an update on the terrible costs of war, including the toll on veterans’ and their families’ lives, from the Brown University-based “Costs of War” project. The ongoing project taps academics of all stripes to tally up the myriad costs of post-9/11 wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, from the invisible and previously unaccounted for costs to taxpayers to the vastly under-reported costs in civilian lives, economies, and environments.

Affording end of life and long term care

Sep 10, 2012

A new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine finds that nearly a quarter of Medicare recipients spend more than their total household assets on out-of-pocket health care costs in the last five years of their lives. That’s in co-payments, home health care, things Medicare doesn’t cover.

Recovery news round-up

Sep 6, 2012

Addiction is a debilitating disease. It’s progressive, chronic, and can kill you.

But it’s also treatable. And there’s been increasingly good news on that front. So, I thought it might be a good time to share a handful of recent stories I’ve come across. Plus, September is Recovery Month, sponsored by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Tick-borne diseases and the blood supply

Sep 5, 2012

Tomorrow morning (Thurs., Sept. 6) I’ll be joining our Morning Edition host Chuck Hinman to talk about the rising number of transfusion-acquired babesiosis infections.


Testing blood serum samples at Yale’s School of Public Health

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