The Pulse

The Pulse is written by Kristin Gourlay, an award winning health care reporter for Rhode Island Public Radio.

Full archive of The Pulse can be found here.

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The Pulse
12:00 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Affording end of life and long term care

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.

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The Pulse
12:00 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Recovery news round-up

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.

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The Pulse
12:00 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Tick-borne diseases and the blood supply

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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The Pulse
12:00 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Ticks, disease, and the environment

This week, we’re all about Block Island here on RIPR. It’s the focus of our annual “One Square Mile” series, where we bring you stories on a variety of angles about one particular part of Rhode Island. As we started exploring this beautiful island, it became clear to me that one of the biggest health stories is how ticks have come to be such a menace. So, I invite you to listen to the three stories I’ve reported about the problem:

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The Pulse
12:00 am
Tue August 28, 2012

How do we talk about obesity?

One of my first feature stories for Rhode Island Public Radio ran this morning during Morning Edition.(Listen here.) It’s about how a hospital realized its staff were dealing with more and more morbidly obese patients but still training on “standard issue” mannequins. So they asked a local puppet and mask maker, Big Nazo, to design something for them.

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The Pulse
12:00 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Great fall lineup of health lectures…and theater (?!) at URI

You don’t have to take out a loan or pack up your parents’ hatchback to attend college this fall. The University of Rhode Island’s 50th annual fall honors colloquium includes a season of free public lectures on health care policy and politics. The lectures take place at 7:30 pm throughout the season on URI’s Kingston campus, but if you can’t make it, they’ll be streamed live, too.

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The Pulse
12:00 am
Tue August 21, 2012

KHN breaks down Medicare cuts

Confused by that number you keep hearing from the candidates in connection with Medicare – $716 billion dollars? Who’s cutting what? Which side is right? Kaiser Health News‘ Mary Agnes Carey cuts through the campaign clutter for you with an excellent FAQ.

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The Pulse
12:00 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Comparison shopping for health care in RI

There are a few new tools out there for comparing and researching health care options in Rhode Island. I don’t recommend basing your decision solely on one of these web tools. I do recommend digging deeper and getting behind the rankings. But I think they might be a helpful starting place for some, especially if you’re looking for care for a loved one.

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The Pulse
12:00 am
Fri August 17, 2012

What’s the Plan for Whooping Cough?

I blogged earlier this summer about a pertussis (whooping cough) outbreak in Rhode Island and a growing number of cases throughout the country (see the latest from the RI Dept. of Health). There were some indications then that the vaccine was losing its efficacy. But that may not be the full picture.

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The Pulse
12:00 am
Wed August 15, 2012

Sorting through recent Medicare buzz

There’s a lot of buzz about Medicare, the nation’s health insurance program for seniors and the disabled, right now. I wonder how Rhode Island’s Medicare recipients are reading all of this. Confusion? Concern? Here are some of the stories I’ve been following and my best effort at sorting fact from fiction:

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