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
6:30 am
Wed March 4, 2015

Medicaid Faces Challenges Nationwide, But Few States Cutting Benefits

A working group appointed by Governor Gina Raimondo has just held its first meeting. Their task: to reinvent Medicaid, the state’s health insurance program for the poor. That means finding ways to cut costs as well as improve quality.

It’s a task many other states have taken on. Rhode Island Public Radio health care reporter Kristin Gourlay spoke with Medicaid policy analyst Laura Snyder from The Kaiser Family Foundation to find out what other states are doing. Snyder said they’re not necessarily cutting benefits.

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The Pulse
12:25 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Group To "Reinvent" Medicaid Kicks Off

Elisabeth Roberts, head of the Exec. Office of Health and Human Services, shows the Governor's Working Group to Reinvent Medicaid the key drivers behind the high cost of health care.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Gov. Gina Raimondo’s working group to "reinvent Medicaid" convened for the first time Monday night. The group’s task is to find savings and rein in spending to help close the state’s budget deficit.  Executive Office of Health and Human Services head Elizabeth Roberts highlighted some of the toughest financial challenges.

“Seven percent of Medicaid members, people we’re currently serving, are about 66 percent of our costs," said Roberts. "That is a truly jaw-dropping number.”

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The Pulse
11:21 am
Mon March 2, 2015

How Other States Are Trying To Cut Medicaid Costs

In Connecticut, Gov. Dannel Malloy has proposed deep cuts to Medicaid to help close a $1.3 billion dollar state budget deficit. Arielle Levin Becker reports in the CT Mirror about Malloy's proposal:

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The Pulse
4:10 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Medicaid Reform: What's At Stake

Gov. Gina Raimondo has appointed a working group to "reinvent Medicaid." The group must present the Governor with ideas for trimming costs and improving quality by the end of April. Sounds wonky, perhaps,  but this is a big and important job. The results could affect all of us. How?

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The Pulse
3:35 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Family Visiting Program Wins $10 Million To Serve 500 More Families

The Rhode Island family visiting program has launched a recruitment campaign that includes options for texting and calling for more information.
Credit Rhode Island Department of Health

Nurses and social workers will visit more homes across Rhode Island thanks to a two-year, $10 million dollar federal grant aimed at helping pregnant women and young children. The program could soon be serving more than a thousand Rhode Island families.

Congress established this home visiting program a few years ago to help families reduce the risks of pre-term births, low birth weights, and infant mortality. This round of funding marks a big expansion of the program in Rhode Island, said State Health Department Director Doctor Michael Fine.

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