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
1:21 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Insurers Spending More On Primary Care

News from the state's health insurance commissioner (OHIC): insurers are making good on their commitment to invest more of their premium revenue in primary care. OHIC directed insurers to raise the amount they spend on their members' primary care by one percentage point every year for four years. And in a new report the agency says they're going to hit those targets.

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The Pulse
12:49 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Hearing Heroin Everywhere

Has heroin abuse reached epidemic proportions? What about painkiller abuse? Or are we just hearing more about it?

The academic jury is still out on this, as far as I can tell. Of course, it doesn't really matter what you call it if you've lost a loved one to heroin overdose.

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The Pulse
12:31 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Communities Ask How To Prevent Overdose

RICARES flyer for an overdose prevention community forum on Feb. 5.
Credit RICARES

Two community forums are taking place over the next week to talk about preventing overdose. They couldn't come at a better time.

Overdose kills more Rhode Islanders than any other kind of accident (including traffic and guns). During the first two weeks of January, 22 Rhode Islanders died from presumed illicit drug overdoses. Another two died over the past two weekends, according to a source at the health department.

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The Pulse
1:18 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Should Unvaccinated Kids Stay Home?

Flu vaccine-filled syringes ready for administering at a workplace vaccine clinic.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

That depends on your priorities. But first, here's what's at issue:

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The Pulse
1:59 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

The Ethics of Preventative Medicine

Art Caplan, medical ethicist with NYU's Langone Medical Center, speaking at a Poynter seminar for journalists on January 24, 2014.
Credit Al Tomkins / Poynter

I just returned from a seminar for reporters on covering what may come next for the Affordable Care Act. One of the last sessions was a talk by prominent bioethicist Art Caplan, new head of the NYU Langone Medical Center's Division of Medical Ethics (you can read more his illustrious career here).

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The Pulse
6:43 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Hospitals Worry Medicaid Cuts Could Leave Them In The Red

We've been reporting on what the impacts might be if Governor Lincoln Chafee's proposed cuts to Medicaid take effect - for example, what's at stake for the state's nursing homes.

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The Pulse
1:07 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Obamacare Sign-Ups: What The Numbers Mean

Here's a sampling of headlines from the past two days about the latest Obamacare exchange enrollment numbers (thanks to Kaiser Health News for rounding these up):

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The Pulse
4:27 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Tools For Health Care Consumers: Quality, Cost, And Care

Thousands of Rhode Islanders have signed up for health insurance in recent weeks, some for the first time. I'm thinking that means some might not be so familiar with our health care system, or they might not know how to keep costs down with plans that carry higher deductibles or out-of-pocket costs.

So... here are a few tools to help you navigate, from finding the highest quality, to keeping costs down, to managing your own health. It's not an exhaustive list, but a start...if you're starting from scratch!

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The Pulse
4:07 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Update: RIte Care, Low Income Rhode Islanders, And The ACA

Some of the lowest-income Rhode Islanders may be losing their health insurance coverage or paying a bit more for it by the end of this month.

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The Pulse
12:42 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

How To: New Year's Resolutions

There's no shortage of advice for how to make, keep, or ditch your New Year's resolutions. Here are a few for your consideration, from the scientific to the not-so-very-scientific at all.

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