Health Care

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.

Scituate 'Neighborhood Health Station' Opens

Nov 14, 2016
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.

Uncertainty Over Obamacare Affects Rhode Island

Nov 11, 2016
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

Oct 31, 2016
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

Child Psychiatrists: Don't Legalize Marijuana

Oct 31, 2016
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.

DiPalma: $15/Hour For Developmental Disability Workers

Oct 28, 2016
John Bender / RIPR

HealthSource RI Open Enrollment Starts Nov. 1

Oct 27, 2016
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.

Lawmakers Demand Answers On UHIP's Rocky Rollout

Oct 21, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

State lawmakers grilled staff from the Departments of Human Services and Administration about what they deemed the “botched” rollout of a new state benefits system Thursday afternoon.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

  Governor Gina Raimondo is trying to curb long wait times and system problems after the roll out of a new human services computer system.

Raimondo has directed Department of Human Services field offices to remain open longer two days a week to deal with long wait times.

She has also asked the consulting firm that helped build the new human services computer system, Deloitte, to send additional staff to help troubleshoot – at no additional cost.

Care New England, Southcoast Health End Affiliation Talks

Oct 17, 2016
Kristin Gourlay

Major health care systems Care New England in Rhode Island and Southcoast Health in Massachusetts say they will end their affiliation plans. The move comes after months of talks about joining forces to create one of the largest systems in the region. In a statement, officials from both organizations say they believe their vision for a combined system could no longer be achieved.  

Regulators in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island had already been reviewing legal documents filed in support of the affiliation. They have been notified of the organizations’ plans.

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