seniors en Latino Elderly Increasingly Isolated In RI <p>I recently attended a conference at Rhode Island College about the health and social welfare needs of the Latino elderly in Rhode Island. And what struck me is something a couple of presenters focused on: the growing isolation of older Latinos here.</p><p>It's not something that was on my radar before, but it seems their numbers and needs are growing (there are nearly 9,000 Latinos in Rhode Island aged 60 and up). And really, their struggles are similar to those of other ethnic communities, even if language, education, and immigration issues compound them.</p> Thu, 01 May 2014 19:30:10 +0000 Kristin Gourlay 32929 at Medicare Advantage Plan Members Can Opt Out If Plans Drop Doctors Without Cause <p>New rules for Medicare Advantage plan members give seniors more flexibility to opt out of plans that drop their doctors from the network.</p><p></p><p>The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced that Medicare Advantage plan members will be able to switch plans if those plans drop doctors mid-year without cause. These are Medicare plans offered by private insurance companies and often operate like HMOs.</p> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 18:48:06 +0000 Kristin Gourlay 31785 at Medicare Advantage Plan Members Can Opt Out If Plans Drop Doctors Without Cause Proposed Medicaid Cuts Could Strap Nursing Homes <p>Gov. Lincoln Chafee has proposed $43 million in cuts to the state's Medicaid program. That's the program that provides health insurance for the poor and disabled. And it's recently been expanded under Obamacare.</p><p>And while Chafee's budget wouldn't cut services for Medicaid recipients, it would have an impact on how much health care providers are paid to care for Medicaid patients. To learn more, Rhode Island Public Radio's health care reporter Kristin Gourlay sat down with Virginia Burke, head of the Rhode Island Health Care Association, whose members are mainly nursing homes.</p> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 11:00:00 +0000 Kristin Gourlay 27970 at Proposed Medicaid Cuts Could Strap Nursing Homes Federal Judge in CT Blocks United From Dropping Docs <p>A federal judge in Connecticut is blocking United Healthcare’s move to drop hundreds of doctors from its Medicare Advantage network.</p><p>The Hartford Courant <a href=",0,1027686,full.story">reports </a>that the Fairfield and Hartford County Medical Associations convinced the court that removing the more than 2-thousand doctors in Connecticut from the health insurance network would be too damaging. And that the insurer plans to appeal the decision.</p> Fri, 06 Dec 2013 20:37:27 +0000 Kristin Gourlay 25886 at Kilmartin, Fine Urge United Healthcare To Reinstate Doctors <p>Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and Health Department director Michael Fine have sent a letter to the CEO of United Healthcare New England expressing their concern over the insurer’s dropping of dozens of doctors from its managed Medicare plan in the state. They want United to reinstate doctors until they submit a plan to handle the transition.</p> Fri, 15 Nov 2013 21:13:47 +0000 Kristin Gourlay 24901 at Doctors Dropped From Medicare Ask State Leaders For Help <p>United Healthcare has notified an unknown number of Rhode Island doctors that they’re being cut from its Medicare Advantage plan network. The news comes during Medicare’s open enrollment period and could affect thousands of senior citizens in the Ocean State.</p> Wed, 23 Oct 2013 21:03:52 +0000 Kristin Gourlay 23683 at Doctors Dropped From Medicare Ask State Leaders For Help Roger Williams, Fatima Open Senior-Friendly ERs <p>Roger Williams Medical Center and Fatima Hospital have opened what they say are the state’s first emergency rooms designed to take better care of the elderly.</p><p>Hospital officials say it’s taken a year to renovate and retrofit both emergency rooms so that the physical environments are safer and more welcoming for seniors. Think non-skid floors, large print hospital forms, and portable devices to help the hard of hearing.</p> Tue, 26 Mar 2013 09:00:00 +0000 Kristin Gourlay 12531 at Roger Williams, Fatima Open Senior-Friendly ERs The Silver Boom: More Seniors Seek Treatment, But Fewer Options <p></p> Tue, 12 Mar 2013 16:00:00 +0000 Kristin Gourlay 11537 at The Silver Boom: More Seniors Seek Treatment, But Fewer Options Gov. Chafee kicks off Meals on Wheels March Campaign <p>Governor Lincoln Chafee joined Meals on Wheels RI today for the start of the program “March for Meals.”&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The nationwide campaign works to increase the awareness of senior hunger, recruit volunteers, and draw donations.</p><p>Governor Chafee accompanied Meals on Wheels on their lunch route and personally served 2 seniors.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 04 Mar 2013 21:19:38 +0000 John Bender 11326 at What it meant: health care in the State of the Union <p>In last night's <a href="">State of the Union address</a>, President Barack Obama mentioned health care five times (by my count). One, later in the address, referred to making sure military veterans get the mental health care they need. The other mentions had to do with Medicare: as the nation ages, it's the biggest contributor to our nation's deficit.</p><p>Here's what he said:</p> Wed, 13 Feb 2013 16:10:57 +0000 Kristin Gourlay 10266 at