Your Weekly Briefing: Health In Rhode Island, March 14

Mar 14, 2017

Credit Brain Week Rhode Island

What’s happening in health care in Rhode Island, March 14:

LANDMARK: Rhode Island’s Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is planning to oppose Prime Healthcare’s plan to donate Landmark Medical Center and the Rehabilitation Hospital of Rhode Island to its foundation.  A note from the AG’s spokeswoman said the concern is that if the hospital is turned over to Prime’s foundation, meaning it will no longer be a for-profit organization, “certain commitments and conditions imposed in the initial acquisition of Landmark could be in jeopardy as they may not be enforceable against the Foundation.” The AG wants the court to make sure those commitments can be enforced if Landmark is transferred to the foundation.

BRAIN WEEK: BRAAAIIINNNNS! Nope, it’s not the Zombiepocalypse. It’s the second annual Brain Week Rhode Island, through the end of this week at Brown University and the University of Rhode Island. Check brainweekri.org for more information about the events, including speakers, film screenings, a brain fair, and a dance workshop. The events are part of international Brain Awareness Week, which draws awareness to the progress and benefits of brain research.

AUTISTIC ART: The Museum of Work and Culture in Woonsocket and the RI Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment will hold an opening of an exhibition of art created by artists with autism and related conditions.  The exhibition runs through April 30. It’s part of the museum’s Autism Awareness Month, and curated by Hartford, CT artist Matthew Best. 

PROVIDENCE CENTER: The Providence center has a new president: Deborah M. O’Brien, BS, RN, MPA, as of April 1st. O’Brien joined The Providence Center in 1995 as Director of Quality Improvement.  She previously held positions at South Shore Mental Health Center (Rhode Island) and Rhode Island Hospital. O’Brien replaces Dale K. Klatzker, Ph.D. who moves on to be Senior Vice President of Population Health at Care New England.  TPC became an affiliate of the Care New England health system in 2014.

GLOBAL HEALTH: The final presentation of Providence College’s Centennial Presidential Speaker Series wraps up with a discussion about pressing health issues affecting people around the world. A panel of experts, including PC-alum Dr. Robert Gallo and Paul Farmer, co-founder of the international social justice and health organization, Partners in Health, will discuss the role of scientific research in global health.  The event takes place March 16 at 4 pm in Room 105 of the Ruane Center for the Humanities, located on the Providence College campus.

EMPLOYER HEALTH PLANS: Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is launching a new data tool for employers of 100 or more that offer their health insurance plans. The tool will give employers access to reports on their employees’ health care utilization, the total cost of their employees’ health care, and enrollment. The idea, BCBSRI said in a statement, is to give employers the information they need to make decisions about the kinds of health care plans they want to offer, as well as how to save employees –and themselves – money. Here’s an example of how it might work - from their press release: “An example of a trend influencing plan design might be a report showing high emergency room usage among employees due to unmanaged chronic conditions. In that case, the employer may decide to work with their broker and BCBSRI client management team to integrate a coordinated care plan that features a dedicated primary care provider for each member and primary care access on nights and weekends.”