Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island is responding to a lawsuit claiming that it stymied Steward Health Care’s bid to acquire Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket.
Steward is the Massachusetts-based, for-profit health care chain that tried to acquire Landmark, which has been in receivership for several years. Steward filed suit in Superior Court this week claiming Blue Cross thwarted those plans purposefully to maintain what Steward calls an unlawful monopoly on commercial insurance and hospital services.
The Rhode Island Dental Association has filed suit in Superior Court against the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Board of Examiners in Dentistry. The suit alleges the state is abusing its power to regulate the dental profession.
The dentists’ group claims that state investigators illegally raided some dentists’ offices, interrupting one surgery in progress. The complaint also alleges that the state’s Board of Examiners in Dentistry failed to give dentists a clear set of regulations for handling anesthesia, controlling infection, and other practices.
Friday is the first day of business for the first medical marijuana compassion center in Rhode Island.
There was a line out the door of the Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center in Providence, on opening day for the first medical marijuana dispensary here in Rhode Island. The 1,600 square foot building houses cultivation and processing facilities as well as the center itself.
Despite state approval for the center, the federal government still classifies marijuana as illegal, said Chris Reilly, a spokesperson for the center.
Rhode Island regulators have given their final approval for the sale of Westerly Hospital to the New London-based Lawrence & Memorial Hospital.
The head of Rhode Island’s Department of Health and the state's Attorney General have signed off on the deal to sell Westerly to L&M. Now, the deal is expected to close June first. Westerly Hospital has been in receivership since 2011 and under the leadership of a special master. L&M spokesman Michael O’Farrell says the special master will stay on through the closing date.
Rhode Island health insurers have filed their requests for increases in premium rates next year. Some small businesses and individuals could see some significant hikes.
Small businesses could see their plan rates drop as much as 20 percent or spike as much as 40 percent. But the average Blue Cross increase is expected to be about 15 percent. Tufts asked for about 13 percent.
The Rhode Island Blood Center shipped blood to Boston hospitals to help victims of the explosions at the marathon. Now, the Center is looking for Rhode Island donors, but not for emergencies.
The Center said in a statement that it doesn’t anticipate needing to send more units of blood to Boston hospitals. What went to Boston didn't come from emergency donations, but what was already on the shelves.